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Columbia Slnftjcr^fftp 


Gift of 
Gen. William J. Donovan 




Church History 



" That a theologian should be well v orsed m 
history, is shown by the fate of those who, 
through ignorance of history, have fallen into 

error Whenever we theologians preach, 

argue, or explain Holy Writ, we enter the do- 
main of history.—" 

Melchior Cancs, Loc. TheoLs B. XI.. c i. 


Second Edition. 




I/' X 



Archicphcopns Neo-Eboracunsis. 

Copyright, 1896. 

Gift of 

Gen. William J. Donovan 

MAY 1- 1958 




The Middle Ages. 

So wide-spread is the notion that the Middle Ages fiirnish 
no material for admiration, that their very name appears 
to be synonymous witli ali that is dark, cruel, and contempt- 
ible. The nineteenth century is pre-eminently well pleased 
with itself ; the eighteenth — that is, the philosophasters who 
gave it its tone— vaunted that period as ihe bright one ; the 
seventeenth and sixteenth complacently smiled at the pros- 
pect of an era of prosperity, universal and nearly unalloyed, 
finally opening to humanity. There were, undoubtedly, 
many and crying evils in the Middle Ages, especially in 
their first period — the Church had not yet entirely subdued 
our barbarian ancestors, and thoroughly assimilated them 
to her civilization. During the Golden Age of Leo X., men 
certainly had some reason for complacency with their time, 
and then, says Cantu, " came the Reformation, to increase 
the contempt for the Middle Ages. ... all their institutions 

were regarded as so much ignorance and superstition 

Then came the philosophy of the last century, proposing to 
itself the demolition of the civil and religious hierarchies. 
.... Both of these had been cradled and nourished by the 
Middle Ages ; hence to combat that period appeared to be 
liberty, and to show one's self an open enemy not only to 
Catholicism, but to Christianity, was regarded as free- 
thinking" (1). Even amonir Catholics, we find many who 
look with distrust upon this eminently Catholic period, for 
the poison distilled by the Reformers, and by the infidel or 

(1) Cantu; Unwersnl History, 9th Ital. ed., Turin, 186^., B. 8, Preliminnry Discnurnc. 


serai-infidel historians of the last century, has been eagerly 
imbibed by many who are deceived by the speciousness of 
its disguise, and by the ignorant, who know not of the 
existence of an antidote. There is a certain charm, for 
many, about Voltaire, even when he says that an inquiry 
into the Middle Ages produces contempt (1) ; about Gibbon, 
when, overcome by his admiration for Pagan Rome, he feigns 
to lament the corruption of the ensuing centuries (2) ; about 
Montesquieu, when he calls "nearl}^ all the medieval laws 
barbarous " (3) ; about Botta, finding fault with that raiser- 
able time, when society "was regulated by the threats and 
promises of a future life." We are not at all disgusted with 
the nineteenth century, nor do we consider the Middle 
Ages in every respect enviable. "Far from us the wish to pine 
away in useless regret, and to wear out our eyes weeping over 
the tomb of nations whose inheritors we are. Far from us 
the thought of bringing back times which have forever fled. 
We know that the Son of God died upon the cross to save 
mankind, not during five or six centuries, but for the world's 

entire duration We regret not, therefore, however we 

may admire, any human institutions which have flourished, 
according to the lot of everything that is human ; but we 
bitterly regret the soul, the divine spirit, which animated 
them, and which is no longer to be found in the institutions 
that have replaced them." (4). 

The remark of De Maistre, that for the last three centuries, 
history has been a permanent conspiracy against truth, is 
now not quite so true as when he made it. That deliberate 
conspiracy of the enemies of Catholicism has no longer any 
effect, unless on the minds of the ignorant or the superfi- 
cially informed. The labors of the Protestants, Ranke, 
Voigt, and Hurter, have changed, to some extent, the current 
of Protestant thoiight, wherever it has been unallied with 
ignorance or wilful blindness. What Eanke, in spite of 
himself (5), succeeded in partially doing for the Papacy of 

(1) Essay on the Morals and Spirit of Nations, c. 33. 

(2) Decline and Fall of the Human Fnnnre, jjiis-sim. (3) Spirit of Laws. 

(4) MONTALEMBERT, Life, (if St. KUza1>ett\ of IfutuKiry, in Tntrodnrtion. 

(5) Salnt-Cherou, in his pretaoc to his sccoml Fiench edition of Raiilic's \\\irk, says that 
toe Genuan author was nut a little disappointed on stfinp the preferenre nocorded to his 
book by the Catholic public, and " at Its haviuK become an active orjfau of a propajrauda la 


the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Voigt did more 
fully for the Popes of the eleventh, and Hurter almost 
entirely did for the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The 
shelves of Catholic libraries had been always loaded with 
triumphant refutations of Protestant and infidel calumnies 
against the ages of faith ; every Catholic scholar had been 
well conversant with such works ; but the great mass of 
those outside the fold were in Cimmerian darkness as to 
the true significance of those ages. We could not have 
expected the prejudices of our dissenting friends to permit 
of their studying the pages of authors like Cantu, Chris- 
tophe, Semichon ; but Providence ordained that they should 
be s:omewhat enlightened by some of their own brethren. 
However, the impression remains among the masses, to 
some extent among Catholics as well as among Protestants 
and infidels, that there is but little for men to learn from 
the Middle Ages ; that they were, pre-eminently, ages of 
barbarism, of ignorance, and of superstition. 

There are two kinds of barbarism, remarks Condillac: 
one which precedes enlightened periods, and another which 
follows them. And, well adds Benjamin Constant, the first, 
if compared wdth the second, is a desirable condition. 
Deeply hostile to the ages of Catholic unity, to that period 
to which they would fain ascribe the adulteration of prim- 
itive Christianity, heterodox polemics have not adverted to 
the ungraciousness of an accusation of barbarism formu- 
lated against the Middle Ages by men who regard as 
enlightened the times which produced Henry YIII., Eliza- 
beth, Cromwell, in England ; which tolerated the civil wars 
of the sixteenth century in France ; which have witnessed 
the modern wars of succession, and more than one Reign of 
Terror. And whence came the quota of cruelty, destruc- 
tiveness, and injustice, which many complacent moderns 
regard as characteristic of the Middle Ages? From the 
Catholic clergy, reply the ignorant and malignant, who 
ignore the innate barbarism of the Northern hordes and 
the posterior civilization of these by the same Catholic 

tovor of Che misunderstood authority of the heads of our holy Church ... in spite of him, the 
divine face, which he tried to leave in shadow, has been illumined by the splendor of truth." 


clergy. The fact is also ignored that, while nearly every 
ruin on European soil was made such by the Pagan invaders, 
or by the heretics of the sixteenth century, or by the 
impious of the eighteenth; nearly all the miracles of archi- 
tectural skill and beauty now admired in Europe are the 
work of the Middle Ages, conceptions of Catholic minds, 
and results of Catholic generosity. We are frequently told 
that the Middle Ages were distinguished for oppress-ion of 
the individual ; but in those days originated the political 
constitutions of modern nations (1). 

As for the barbarism so justly lamented when and where 
it did exist, blind injustice alone can ascribe it to the 
Catholic clergy, for they were always the first victims of 
the barbarians ; their churches, libraries, and monasteries 
were sacked and burnt, the priests and monks often ruth- 
lessly massacred. And how ungrateful is this charge, since 
it was this same Catholic clergy who transformed the 
devastating beasts into men and Christians, who repaired 
the damage inflicted, and preserved all of civilization that 
they themselves had not created. 

(1,> " I say nothiug about the Cauon Law, which was an imnieDse advance in mercy and 
equity, and in which brute force was first opposed by discussion, baronial caprice by written 
law ; in wliich, for the first tune, all were declared e()ual before the law. But how great as 
legislators were Chaileinagne, Alfred of England, St. Stephen of Hungary, St. Louis of 
France, and a few of the (iennaii emperors? Then England wrote her ( ')i(iitn, imperfect, 
yes, but not yet excelled or equalled, and which, although founded on feudalism, so well 
guarantees personal and real liberty. Then the commercial republics of Italy compiled a 
maritime code which is still in force. Then the various Cotnmunes provided themselves 
with statutes, which appearcurious only tn ihose who know nothing of those times and 
places- Then the republics of (iermany, of Switzerland, and of Italy experimented with 
every kir.d of political regime, trying constitutions not at all academical— constiititions 
adopted, not because they were English or Spanish, but because they were opportune, 
peculiar, historical. Then the iiiiddU^ class, showing the best indication of sticnglh — 
growth, caused by resistance— penetrated into the monarchy, giving to it life, force, and 
glory; and although the present and futuff- irut.ortance of this class was lun understood, it 
became the people, the nation, tlie sovereign. ()l)sorvt! the Congress of I'ontida. or the 
Peace of Constance, or the nocturnal ineetings under the oak of Truns or in tlic niea<lows 
of Biitii, where simiile-miniied men swear, in the name of that God who created both serf 
and niilile, to maintain their customs and their country s freedom ! Observe those Synods, 
in which religion makes lierself guaiilian of the rights of man. Observe the people at the 
wit( ii(i-i,i( Hint of England, at the French i'hinniis ((( M(ti, at thedietsof lioncaglia, oi' at 
that of Lamego, where a new nation draws up the constitution of Portugal more liberal 
than many inoclei'ii ones- with a thioncsurrounilcd by a nobility nf)t deiMved from coikjih-sI, 
not founded on possessions or bought with money, bui conferred on those who have been 
loyal to Chinch and country, valoi-ons in freeing the latter from the foreigner. And these 
laws were conllrmed because tliev were iinoil nuii jiisl, couilitions ignored by the ancient 
jurists, and forgoiieii by many modern ones." ('.\.\Tf: lac til. — We lenrn from Tacitus 
(l'uMi)in» o/ (/(( iMirniaiis) that the ancient (ierniatis met in parliameiu on certain <iays, 
in the oi)en fields. Fredegarius (i/. 77ti> informs us that the Franks contiiuied the custom in 
the lusseinblies called of the <\tm)ii Mmtii. and afterwards of the ('<uiiiii Maii. Landolph 
the Younger (c. !» anti .SI > .says I hat the archbishops of .Milan met their vas.sals in similar 
diets. For such assemblies the Holy Iloinan emiierors, as kings of Italy, chose the plain.s 
of Roncaglia, between the Po and the Nura, about three miles from Piacenza. According 
to Arnolphus (//. />'. Kiiiiiiic, v. IV., b. 3, c. 4.) Henry II. met the first diet in 1047. The 
Arlx of the iiarliamcnt held at Honca'-rlia under Barbarossa are found in Pertz's Hixt. 
Mi))iuiiiint:<(iJ (,iiiii}(t)ni. v. II.; Hanover, iS;)?.— TOSTI ; Ilistoni of the Limihard Leimw, 
h. II., note A ; Montecas.sino, IHIS. 


Until comparatively late days, few historians seem to 
have regarded the Middle Ages as worthy of serious inves- 
tigation. According to many of these — generally successful 
— formers of public opinion, even the land of Dante and 
Petrarch was buried in ignorance the most dense, until the 
fall of Constantinople caused Grecian scholars to claim her 
hospitality ; " not a painter had flourished before Cimabue, 
and no artist merited notice until the favor of some prince 
created Michael Angelo and Raphael ; the Italians had lost 
even the remembrance of their ancient laws, until, during 
some devastation, a copy of the Pandects was unearthed ; 
only a capricious jargon was written and spoken until the 
present Italian language was improvised, and — like armed 
Minerva from the brain of Jove — issued forth, wonderful 
virgin, to influence the entire universe." (1). But with 
the indefatigable labors of cardinal Baronio, who, from the 
monuments of the Vatican, methodically and lucidly ex- 
tended the Annals of the Church (and precisely therefore, of 
what was then the civilized world), new light was shed upon 
the intellectual condition of the Middle Ages (2). Much 
more knowledge was contributed by Muratori (3), a dili- 
gent and critical annalist to whom, more than to all other 

(U Cantp; hoc. cit.— 
— Hallam, although not addicted to criticism or to investigation of origina sources of 
hi&tory, because he regarded such labors as " not incumbent on a compiler," {View of the 
State of Europe during the Middle Aaes, chap, i., note 1), nevertheless hit upon truth 
vFhen he said : " Italy supplied the fire from which other nations, in this first, as afterwards 
in the second era of the revival of letters, lighted their own torches. Lanf ranc A nselm 
Peter Lombard, the founder of systematic theology in the twelfth century Irnerius the 
restorer of jurisprudence, Gratian, the author of the first compilation of Canon Law' the 
School of Salerno, that guided medical art in all countries, the first dictionaries of the Latin 
tongue, the first treatise on Algebra, the first great work that makes an epoch in Anatomv 
are as truly and exclusively the boast of Italy, as the restoration of Greek literature and of 
classical taste in the fifteenth cenimy."— Introduction to the Literature of FJurom in the 
Jrith, mh, andVi'thCoitiiries, vol. i.,c. ii. 

(2) AnnaU of the Church, from the Birth of ChrM to the wear 1198, Rome 158fi— 1007 
1^ vols, in fol. These Anitals have been continued by, 1st, the Polish Dominican Bzovius 
(Rome, 1616), and augmented (Cologne 1621—1640), down to 1.572; 2d bv Spond'anus 
bishop of Pamiers (Paris, 164IJ) ; Sd, by Oderico Rinaldi, Oratorian, 7 vols fof (Rome i64ti 
—1663), from 1198, where Baronio ended, down to l.'iOe ; 4th. by Laderchius. .3 vols fo! 
(Rome, 172^—17.37); 5th, by Augustine Theiner, Oratorian, prefect of the Vatican Archives 
3 vols. fol. (Rome, l&'ie*, from 1572 to our days. Baronio does not always distincuisb 
apocryphal from authentic documents, and he not seldom uses Greek versions of dubious 
sincerity— faults rather of his age than his own ; but with the aid of the corrections l)v the 
Franciscan. Pagi, by Mansi (Cong. Mother of God;, and by the Protestant Casaubon his 
work is invaluable. 

(3) Annals of Italy, from the birth of Christ to 1750, Milan, 18 vols, 8vo 175.3-'')6 — 
Writers o}i. Italian Matters, fTom .500 to 1500, 28 vols, fol., Milan, 1723-51. Tbe expense 
of this publication was defrayed by sixteen Ita.ian gentlemen, who each contributed 400: i 
^cudi.— Italian Antiuuitirs of the Middle A(je, trom the fall of the Roman Empire until 
1.500, Milan, 6 vols. fol. 1739— 43.— E.xfeo.siVm Antiquities, Modena, 1717-40 2 voLs fol 
When it is remembered that Muratori edited over fifty folio volumes, nearly fifty quartos 
and innumerable octavos and duodecimos, it seems strange that more inexactnesses do not 


■writers, modern historians must refer. Tirabosclii (1), 
Scipio Maflfei (2), Du Cange (3j, Tillemont (4), Pertz (5), Leo 
(6), J. Moeller (7), may be consulted with profit. As for 
English historians of the Middle Ages, several are preten- 
tious, few recommendable. Robertson (8) is carried away 
by his contempt for this period, and, to use the words of 
Cantu, " infatuated with the present liberties of his country, 
he calumniates the time when the edifice was not complete, 
forgetting that just then its foundation was laid, and its 
grandeur prepared." " Hume," says the same judicious and 
impartial critic, " in order to flatter the Encyclopedists, 
then the dispensers of fame, too often adopts the weapons 
of contempt and ridicide, capital enemies of reflection; and, 
sceptical of generosity, understands liberty only under 
certain appearances. Endowed with reason, but with no 
imagination ; a sceptic in history as in philosophy ; evi- 
dently and unfortunately partial ; he entirely misunderstands 
the Anglo-Saxon period, regarding the English constitu- 
tion as already formed at the birth of the nation. Of what 
assistance can he be, therefore, in an endeavor to become 
acquainted with foreign peoples"? Hallam has eyes for 
governments, never for peoples ; hence, while he follows the 
development of a constitution, he disconnects it from the 
sources of its origin. Gibbon, most renowned of English 
historians, " regarded," says Cantu, " with veneration by 
his school, and respected even by his opponents, is vastly 
erudite, shows great sagacity in discovering new sources, 
artfully groups facts and interprets intentions. What book, 
therefore, can flatter to a greater extent the convenient 
propensity to agree with an author? But reflecting readers 
perceive in his writings a continuous diatribe, inspired by 
the simultaneous prejudices of a Jew, a heretic, and a 
' philosopher '—a diatribe permeated by two ideas, admira- 

1» JIist(ir]i (if Italian Literature ('2) Hitttnry of Vrrima. 

(3) In his GloKKdrfi, and especiiilly In his Notes to the text of Anna Comnena in the 
W'ritciK of Byzantine History (Paris, 1040—50), printed at the Louvre by order of Louis 

(4) JliKtory of the Emperors. 

(.5) Historical Momiment^i of Germany, from 500 to 1500, Hanover, 1826. 
(0) Ilixtory of tl)r Miilillc AfirflXiO). 

(7) Mamtdl of the. History of the Mi<hlk Aye, from tht Fall of the WetAem Empire 
until the hcalliof Cliarlenumuc (Paris, 183"). 

(8) Introduction to the Life of tliarlcA V. 


tion of Koman greatness and hatred for all religion." (1). 
It is false that the Middle Ages were pre-eminently times 
of icrnorance ; that, as some have not hesitated to say, men 
had lost the faculty of reasoning. In this epoch flourished 
Abelard, Dante, Albert the Great, Thomas of Aquin. It is 
true that the hunting and soldiering barbarians at first dis- 
dained the peaceful triumphs of letters, and regarded the 
fine arts as a disgraceful inheritance of the people they had 
conquered ; that, for a time, even the olden subjects — of 
the secular order — of Rome lost taste for the sublime and 
the beautiful. But then science found a friend in the sanc- 
tuary and in the cloister: and the clergy preserved, as a 
sacred deposit, the traditions of literature and art. As for 
moral science, have modern times surpassed Anselm, Lan- 
franc, Peter Damian, or Peter Lombard? As for practical 
science do we know much more than did our medieval 
ancestors ? We will mention a few of the improvements 
and inventions which we owe to these compassionated men. 
I. The paper on which we write (linen) is, according to 
Hallam, an invention of the year 1100 (2) ; cotton paper 
was certainly used in Italy in the tenth century, ii. The 
art of printing, or rather the press, was invented in 1436, 
either by Lawrence Coster, a chaplain in the Cathedral of 
Harlem, and a xylograph printer, or by the artisan Gens- 
fleisch, called Guttenberg (3) ; but printing by hand was 
done in the tenth century, iii. That music may be now 
called a science is due to Guido of Arezzo, an Italian monk, 
who, in 1124, determined the scale, hitherto uncertain. 

(1) Ahn Martin Snaldinir, In his valuable Lecture on Literature and the Arts in the 
Ml]dlfATsTesiT<lTHai\a.mim<i Maltland as superior to all other English writers on 
^9 period but Le well remarks that, compared with the labors of Muratorl and T.rabosch 
"thiir works, learned and excellent as they are in many respects, are but pigmies.' 

"^-^fSrr'dTawing up a Catalogue of the Escurial Library, says that most of Its MSS 
areof rag-pap^^^^^^^ chartaceos, in contradistinction to the membranous and 

cotton ones At No. 787, he cites the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, Coder an. Chr UOO, 
cC-tocei!"; and does not deem It remarkable- Peter of Cluny, in a treatise against the 
it-ws sneaks of books made from the shreds of old cloths. , .v, , . * 

c^) The Abb^Le Noir, In his adaptation of Bergier's Dictionary analyzes the known facts 
n'ncerning this invention, and thus concludes: " Coster, we beheve, invented and first 
eSyed movable types. Guttenberg came across Coster's plans, perfected tbern and 
wUh invincible patience endeavored to execute them on a grand scale. But, constantly 
needing funds, he was compelled to put himself in the hands of an adroit banker, Faust, 
wifo n^avpd uDon him the trick he himself had practised on Coster, appropnated the Inven- 
Ion and VSe^l thrpro^^^^^ Chronicles of Feltrc say that Panfllo Castaldi, a 
binnanistoPthat city taught his disciple Faust, in 1436. the use of movable types. Stere- 

knew not, of course, any way of casting the plates. 


His f^nhnlsntion, or the use of the ut, re, nii, fa, sol. la^ was 
signified bj means of the words of the first verses of the 
Vesper Hymn for the feast of the Baptist (1). Ughelli, in 
his Sacred Italy, proves that, in the ninth century, the 
Italians used pneumatic organs. IV. In the twelfth cen- 
tury', the mariners of Amalfi first applied the knowledge 
of the loadstone to navigation, inventing the mariner's 
compass, thus enabling subsequent Italian navigators to 
prosecute geographical discovery, v. It is amusing to 
learn that in those days of alleged ignorance, and hence 
carelessness of study, one of the most important aids to 
study should have been invented To enable persons of 
defective eyesight to read, the ancients used a sphere filled 
with water, but about 1285 a Pisan monk, named Salvino 
d'Armato, invented spectacles. In a sermon preached in 
Florence, Feb. 23, 1305, the famous friar Giordano di 
Kivalta said : '■ Only twenty years ago were spectacles 
invented ; I knew and conversed with the inventor." vi. 
By a people's language we can surely judge of their refine- 
ment and their intellectual calibre. Now it was in these 
despised Middle Ages that were formed and perfected the 
languages of modern Europe. Humboldt may have erred 
when he judged that grammatical forms are not the fruit of 
the progress made by a nation in analysis of thought, but 
he ri^htlv admitted that these forms " are results of the 
manner in which a nation considers and treats its lan- 
guage." (2). And we are asked to believe that the densest 
ignorance and the grossest sentiments were the portion of 
the times which produced the sweet and philosophic 
Italian, the majestic Spanish, the graceful French, and the 
forcible English and German tongues (3). Vil. Have 
modern times rivalled the Middle Ages in architectural 

(1) Vt qiie;int laxis, /irsonare Dbrls, Mira gestoriim. Famuli (ikhuiii, Suls^ polluti, 
LahW reatuin, Sancte Joannes ! 

(2) LetterK on the Nature of (Inwitnatirnl Forms. Paris, 182r, p. 1.'). 

(3) "The Latin laiiKuasre hejraii lo decline even in the Urst century of our era. and its 
decay corT('sp()nri(>(t to tliat of the Hoiiiiin empire and of Roman civilization. With the 
irruption of tlie lyarbarians, the coniipijon hecame so extensive tliat the oI<l orjranism 
|)erished, and the relics could not he teiined a new languatje. Chrisriatiity took hold of 
this r:iw mattuial, placed ihcrcln the eudiryonic principles of new orjranizal ions. and fecun- 
dated them with the hieratic word peirorininsjr the two duties symholize<l hy the oriental 
luyth^ of tlic cosiiijc I'lTL' and amlroLryuisiu. 'Phus the modern idioms were horn froai the 
nrderial of the old, informed and ortranlzed by the relijflous idea and by the sacer- 


^kill and taste ? With the exception of St. Peter's at Rome 
— itself a result of the spirit of that despised period- -all 
the most magnificent structures of Europe, all the real 
triumphs of architecture, are of medieval conception and 
execution. Glass windows, too, introduced only in the 
fourth century, commenced to present beautiful colors in 
the early Middle Age ; and in the twelfth century the 
Church began, by means of those wonderful window- 
pictures, to reach the hearts and intellects of such of her 
children as, perchance, were not penetrated by the words 
of her preachers, viii. The system of banking, with its 
convenient bills of exchange, was originated by the Italians 
in the twelfth century, ix. Tn the year 650, wind-mills were 
invented ; in 657, organs ; the Greek fire in 670 ; carpet- 
weaving in 720 ; clocks in 760 ; in 790, the Arabic numerals 
were introduced ; in 1130, the silk-worm was first cultivated 
in Europe : in 1278, gunpowder was invented : engraving 
in 1410 ; oil-painting in 1415. (1). 

dotal word. At first eafli of these liiloms was a mere dialect, that is, a vulgrar speech, rude, 
ignoble, private, unflt for public use aud for writing, not yet possessed of a life of its owd, 
independent of the ancient mother's. And just as the fetus becomes a man, the human 
animal an infant, coming out into the light and entirely separating from the maternal 
body, so a dialect is transformed into an illustrious language, flt to signify ideal things, 
tnrough the wcjrk of noble writers who divert it from popular usage, and introduce it 
into the forum, the temple, the schools, and into the conversation of the learned — who 
develop its scientific and aesthetic powers, and who give it a being entirely distinct from its 
progenitrix. Tlie first of modern dialects to run this course was the Tuscan, or, to speak 
correctly, the Florentine, which afterwards became the noble language of Italy, just as the 
Castiliaii and the Picard became the national idioms of Spain and of France. The Tuscan 
was already conceived Ijefore 1:^00, when Folcacchiero aud CiuUo dAlcamo dictated their 
rude sonnets; it was born with Dante, who first initiated the speech of the Arno into the 
public life of civilization and of learning, and rendered it, so far as literature is concerned, 
not only Italian, but European-" gioberti ; CivU and Moral Primacy of the Italians, 
Capolago, liUti, vol. ii., p. '275. 

(1). As an evidence of the intellectual decadence of the Middle Ages, it is alleged that 
then the science of cr.ticisin was unknown. To this Cantii replies : *' I do not hesitate to 
assert that, of all the questions agitated since that time, perhaps not one was not raised 
during that period. Although the ag^ of Leo X. believed Annius of Viterbo (a Chatterton 
of the l.oth century) and that of the Encuclnpcdin in Ossian, the eleventh century ques- 
tioned the authenticity of the luilse Danetals (of Isidore Mercator). King Liutpraiid and 
Bishop Agobard condemned trials by combat and the ordeals bv fire and water, although 
these were upheld by prejudice, custom, and law ; they also ridiculed the belief that witclies 
prcduced tempests. The monk Virgilius (Ferghil) and .lohn of Salisbury taucht the correct 
aiuiidiiue system and theexistence of antipodes. Even in those days, both the spiritual and 
temporal rule of the Pope were attacked and defended ; then war was made, by argument 
ana by ridicule, on the abuses of monachism and on false piety ; then were weighed the 
prerogaiives of kinf;-s, and their titles to power; then were laid the foundations of civil 
order in such a manner as to produce the only constitutions which have long endured. 
Every system, dogma, and rite, foinid champions and opponents; and the political heresies 
of Arnold of P>rescia and of Friar Dolciiio, the philo.sophical ones of Origen and of Abelard, 
dhe religious ones of Photius and of the Albi;;enses. left nothing new for Luther and 
Socinus to pronounce- And what if we reflect that these rude ancestors of ours civil- 
ized half the world ; that, by the translation of the Bible, modern languages were formed ; 
that hymns were composed which have been sung by the most refined centuries ; that 
entire nations were withdrawn from licentious and ferocious superstition? Undoubted- 
ly, tnuch was wanting; but deny, if you can, to Alexander the title of consummate 
general, because he would not have been able to conquer at Leipsic or to reduce Antwerp, 
or the title of poet to Homer because he was ignorant of geography and astronomy." (Joe- 


A very efficient reason for that aversion to the Middle- 
Ages, which we may observe in most heterodox writers and 
in all devotees of materialism, is the fact that those days 
formed the golden period of mouasticism — a system which 
is as much a part of the history of the human mind, as it 
is of ecclesiastical history, and which must necessarily find' 
an enemy in the spirit of the world. Of eastern birth, and 
at first unacceptable to the westerns, the influence of St. 
Athanasius — who had studied its spirit during his exile — 
introduced it to Rome, and in less than two centuries it was 
spread throughout the empire. With the sixth century 
came the great monastic legislators, SS. Benedict and Col- 
umbanus ; and new rules, providing every constituent of 
wise government, enabled the monks to survive the influence 
of barbarism to become the refuge of virtue and enlighten- 
ment. With the twelfth centurv, the world beheld an alii- 
ance hitherto deemed impossible — that of the religious state 
with the military profession. The genius of the age en- 
abled the soldier to sanctify his valor, directing it against 
the enemies of the faith, and observing the monastic vows 
amid the duties and hardships of the field. The knights of.' 
St. John — afterwards styled of Khodes, and finally of Malta ; 
the Templars — in time degraded, but for a long period a 
glory of Christendom ; the Teutonic Order — at first devoted 
to the care of the sick poor, but soon taking arms for the 
defence of Palestine and for the civilization of Northern 
Germany (1) ; the knights of St. Lazarus, of Calatrava, of 

(1). DuririK the ponliflcate of Innocent HI. (ll'JS — 121G), christian, a Cistercian monk, 
had introduced Christianity inio Prussia, and was made bisliop of that reg-ion, on his visit 
to the Holy ■''ee, in 1214. Ueturnmtr, he fonnd his converts relapsed into idoialry, and at 
war with "the Christians <<{ Culm, having alieady destroyed over two hundred and llfty 
churches. Christian i)reaclied a crusade, and erected the citadel of Culm, llr:ally compellinir 
the Prussians to abatidon idolatry. A new revolt of the barbarians prompted the bishop to 
institute the Military order of Christ : but in 1224 the knights, five only excepted, were 
killed in battle. Christian then i>ersiiaded Conrad, duke of Mazovia, to implore the aid of 
the Teutonic kuiKhls ; this prince ceded to the order all the lands it could sulidue. In tlliy 
years Prussia, Lithuania, and Pomerania were coiKiuerecl. "The vow of obedience oIk 
served bj these soldier friars." says Caniii, "produced in them a disciiiline unknown to 
other governments, their wills lieing bound by honor and by religion. Into this sovereign 
Order the niigning families of (ierniany proudly e/irolled their sons ; in Prussia kings and 
princes served an apiirentii'eship to arms ; respect gave strength to the Order, which soon 
reached the height of power, but afterwards fell into debauchery and tyranny." The last 
grand-master of the Teutonic knights, Albert f)f Brandenburg, yielded to the temptation of 
Lutlcr to convert his power iiitu a secular principality a templaliiiii which another .Albert 
of Brandenburg, his kinsman an<l archbishop of Maintz and Magdeburg, had resisted ( KfiUt- 
Luth. in Cochlaeus, y. l.Wti). He appropriated nearly all the proiierty of the Order, united 
blmself to the Princess Dorothy of Holstein, and (iivided Prussia with I'oland, l)ecoming 
tributiiry to the latter for the portion re.served t" himself thus founding the present king- 
dom of Prussia. I'rotestant writers And fault with the means taken by the Teutonic knightsj- 


iSt. James, of Alcantara, and many other associations, were 
probably the most efficient of all the Iniman means used by 
the Koman Pontiffs in their struggle to preserve European 
^civilization. With the thirteenth century came the Men- 
dicant Orders, devoted to the combat against the errors and 
vices of the Albigenses and other innovators of the period. 
Since wealth had caused the discredit of many of the olden 
•religious, SS. Francis and Dominick prohibited every kind 
of property, even in common, to their disciples ; and al- 
though this severity lasted but a short time, these friars 
obtained and preserved, by their general virtue and zeal, 
the esteem of Church and State. What service did these 
religious render society ? In the first place, agriculture, 
swhich mhy be styled the first of arts and the source of all 
real wealth, grew to be respected by our ancestors, because 
• of the example of the monks. Fleury, speaking of the 
•work of the monks in Germany, says : " They were useful 
in the temporal order, owing to the labor of their hands. 
Thev levelled the vast forests which covered the land. By 
their industry and their wise management the earth was 
cultivated ; the inhabitants multiplied ; the monasteries 
produced great cities, and their dependencies became con- 
siderable provinces. What were once the new Corbie and 
Bremen, now two great towns ? What were Fritzlar, Herfeld, 
cities of Thuringia? Before the monks, what were Saltz- 
•burg, Frisengen, Echstadt, episcopal cities of Bavaria? 
Where were St. Gall and Kempten in Switzerland, where 
were such towns as St. Gall ? Where so many other cities of 
Germany ? " (1). Secondly, the monks aided the poor and the 
oppressed. " For a long time," says Yoltaire (2), " it was a con- 
to convert the idolatrous Prussians. Bergier thus replies : " It is falsely supposed that.the 
crusades and mllltarv operations of the knifrhts were primarily designed for the conversion 
of the inflfiels Their oh.ieet was to defend Christians against the attacks, insults, and 
violence of idolaters ; to prevent tlie irruptions of these, and to repress their brigandage. 
Where was the crime ? f'hristianitv and the natural law both prohibit private violence, but 
they do not prohibit nations from opposing force with force. Whether the warriors be 
knight-, or soldiers, volunteers or mercenaries, religious or seculars, the question is whether 
or not Christianity condemns the use of arms in every case J he knights never U-came 
preachers, and the nnssionaries were never armed. The b'lrbarians were ferocious beasts, 
who by force were first to be ma.e men, before any thought could be entertained of Chris- 
tianizing them : the former task was for the knights, the latter for the missionaries. It is 
said that these means were calculated i-ather to disgust than to convert the barbarians, but 
the fact is that they were converted, and that the entire North became and is Christian 

It is one thing to patiently sutTer persecution at the hands of one's government, another 
to allow one's self to be killed by foreign barbarians, practising bngandage against the 

(1) Discourse Hi., no. 22. (2) Spirit and Cxuftoms of Nations, v. iii. 


solation for the human race that these refuges were open ta 
those who wished to escape Gothic and Vandal tyranny." 
Thirdly, the monks cultivated letters. Outside the monasteries 
few persons, in the early Middle Age, knew how to write ; but 
within these walls patient laborers were constantly at work 
transcribing and perpetuating such monuments of intellect as 
the barbarians had spared. " I declare," wrote Cassiodorus to 
his monks of Viviers, " that of all bodily labors, the copying 
of books is the most to my taste." Witliout this labor, and 
without that jeaJous love of their libraries which caused 
the monks to say that '■ a cloister without a library is like 
a citadel without weapons," we would to-day possess not 
one monument of ancient lore. And what praise is not due 
to the schools of the monasteries ? In these schools were 
taught, generally gratuitously, not only sacred science, but 
rheti-ric, dialectics, astronomy, grammar, and music. His- 
tory, especially, owes everything to the monks, who not only 
preserved all records of the far past, but minutely recorded 
the events of their own day. In all the great monasteries, an' 
exact and able writer was appointed to keep this record, and 
after mature examination, the Chronicle was handed down 
to posterity. Italy owes all knowledge of her history to 
her innumerable cowled chroniclers ; France is a similiar 
debtor to Ado of Vienne, William of St. Germer, Odoric of 
St. Evroul, both Aimoins, and Hugh of Flavign}^ ; England 
to Bede, Ingulph, William of Malmesbury, and the twa- 
Matthews of Westininstor and Paris ; Germany toRhegino- 
abbot of Prom, Witikiud, Lambert of Aschaflfenburg. Ditniar, 
and Hermaini C-uitractus (1). In fine, so assiduousl}^ did 

(1) "The sciciues termed historical liave a chararter very riifferent from that of the- 
sciences ivKanled as pre-eminently exact. Tlie art of niateriallv arranfrinf,' fads is, for 
tliem, only a preparation ; these facts, indepenilent of their moral si^rnitlcation, are nothinjf. 

of themselves The documents which ple^erve the souvenirs of humanity have a 

tendency to disapi)ear, because they refer to events not identically renewed, as are the con- 
stant works of naiine. This inllnite diversitv enirenders immense dilllculties of labor- to 
render history fruitful, there must lie a unity of action in the frroupiiiKof facts, ami a 
unity of opinion in tlie .iudyriiient formed. SMbonMiintion of au'eiits in a commoii direction,, 
division of the one task amon(f many workmen— a division jiniportioned to the extent of 
the work, are primary conditions for every irreat Irs'orical unde'-takinp-. All such enter- 
prises as are very exact and very extensive have been the work of relijrious bodies. In 
these bodies alone have been found men with a sjiirit of self-denial sunicient to rrmoume' 

'he Joys of personal fame Here facts -peak more elociueiitlv than argument; the 

Hevolution, by destroyini; the Benedictine Order, put an end t the jrreat records of our 
history. Of these works, some, such as r //riVha// nmW and ihf An luils of the < Hrln- ni 

St. Id iirilict. the lAttem of t)ir l'n)i,s. have not been rest d (thev have, since the time 

of I.enormant> ; others have been continued bv the institute, but slowlv i.nd imperfectly 
In contldiUK U) the Institute the prosecution of the work of the lienedictiiies. ai;d provi 'itm 


tlie monks of the Middle Ages cultivate letters and every 
branch of science, that the slow progress of these, during 
the early j^ortiou of that period, can be ascribed only to the 
then existirg political situation of Christendom. Intellect- 
ual culture depends, for brilliant results, on the lot of 
states ; only when government is somewhat settled, do men 
turn to the Muses. Nevertheless, very many of the medieval 
monks would have honored the reigns of Augustus or Pope 
Leo X. Science can show no more devoted or brilliant dis- 
ciples than Gerbert (Pope Sylvester II.), Albert the Great, 
or Roger Bacon. Of the first, the inventor of the wheel and 
weight clock, and the projector of the telescope, DAlembert 
well said that he who first used the wheels and weights, 
would have invented watches in another age ; and if Ger- 
bert had lived in the time of Archimedes, perhaps he would 
have equalled that mechanician (1). 

Even the early Middle Age could not have been so igno- 
rant as we are asked to believe, since every cathedral, as 
Avell as nearly every monastery, had its school and library, 
in accordance with canonical enactments. Hallam admits 

t'enerously for its expenses, the State believed all had been done ; despite the nxity of the 
academies, despite the often admirable zeal of the members, no equivalent has been found 
fur the continuous, persevering, and multiple action of the monks. An equitable discern- 
ment has not guided the choice of editors ; political considerations and momentary interest 
have entered into the task ; and the consec|ueuce has been an unequal mass, an incoherent 
agglomeration of excellent and inferior volumes— and yet, there was a question merely of 
printing manuscripts. What would heve been the result, if the Institute had undertaken'the 
composition of great works like those of the Benedictines ? I show only the exterior in- 
conveniences of the actual organization of science : I do not push the lantern into its 
innermost recesses. I could have traced a deplorable tableau of the combats of vanity or 

of want against the councils of duty When 1 see the governing powers occupying 

themselves with the secret vices which attack the intellectual calibre of the country ; when 
I behold an attempt at a new organization at the base of which there is a little honor, and 
much security lortuose who devote themselves to science, then I will admit that great 
historical work: can bH produced bv a lav society." Lknormant, /y?tr;i()i(s Associatinii hi 
Christia)i .Socafi/, Paris, 1844, § xix. The Benedictines to whose labors Lenormant 
alludes were ind 'eil posterior to the Middle Ages, but the judgments of the author are 
strictly applicable to their mediev:il predecessors. 

(1) M>r. Ive; (invot and '^igismond Lacrdix, in their HMoi-]/ of tlie PmUfairei), one of the 
most bitterly anti Christian woiks of our day, are constrained to speak as follows, concern- 
ing the works of the Middle Ages : " A Benedictine monastery was a barrack for work 
and for prdver. But the time devoted to latjor shows the special characteristic of the 
western rn''"ies. A monastery was an insurance company, and also an Industrial and 
agricultural associ-ition. Certain works required great enterprise and a great cohesion of 
forces. At that time (the Merovingian period), credit did not exist ; .shares and stocks 
were unknowu um the monks established something similar. There was plenty of land, 
and the elements for its utilization were at hand ; but men feared the desert, the swamp^ 
and the forest, for th(! redemption of these was app.rently above human strength. Theti 
the monks came, lilc" the American pioneers of our day. They selected a valley, or some 
propitious spot ; they set to work, levelling the trees, draining the swamps, and founded 
an agricultural colony. All this the monks did by association ..... They formed veritable 

industrial societies Among the most celebrated were 'he Bridge-building Friars 

( Praf res Portftffcf.t), who dannarly threw bridges over the torrents throughout Southern 
France. These constructed the Saint-Esprit bridge across the ahone" Messrs. Guyot and 
Lacroix describe the vast possessions of the abbey of St. Germaln-des-Pr6s, which had a 
radius of forty leagues around Paris (at the time of Louis le Di?bonnaire), and every foot of 
which the monks bad reclaimed from the desert. 


that " the praise of having originally established sclioob 
belongs to some bishops and abbots of the sixth century ; " 
but — at least, so far as Ireland is concerned— it is certain 
that her schools were celebrated throughout Europe in the 
fifth century. As to the continent, we find the Council of 
Vaison recommending, in 529, the institution of free par- 
ochial schools. To cite only a few of similar decrees, there 
is a canon of the 3d General Council of Constantinople, 680, 
coujmandiug priests to have free schools in all country 
places ; one of a Synod of Orleans, 800, ordering the par- 
ochial clergy " to teach little children with the greatest 
charity, receiving no compensation, unless voluntarily 
offered by the parents ; " one of Mentz, 813, commanding 
parents to send their children " to the schools in the mon- 
asteries, or in the houses of the parish clergy;" one of 
Borne, under Eugenius II., 826, prescribing schools in every 
suitable place. As to higher education, not only was it not 
neglected, but the most celebrated universities were founded 
and perfected in the " dark " ages. Most renowned were the 
Irish school of Bangor (Benchor) — with its thousands of 
scholars ; and the other Irish schools founded at Lindis- 
farne in England ; Bobbio in Italy ; Verdun in France ; 
Wiirzburg, Ratisbon, Erfurt, Cologne, and Vienna, in 
German}-. The great University of Bologna, an outgrowth 
of the law-school there established by Theodosius II., 
became so celebrated under Irnerius (d. 11-40), that of 
foreigners alone more than ten thousand thronged its halls 
(1) ; The University of Padua frequently numbered eighteen 
thousand students. Famous also were the Universities of 
Rome, Pavia, Naples, and Perugia ; of Paris ; of Alcala, 
Salamanca, and Valladolid ; of Oxford and Cambridge ; of 
Vienna, Cologne, Erfurt, and Heidelberg (2). And it must 

(1). The University of Bologna was a corporation of scholars, who were divided into two 
jrreat " nations," Cismontancs (Italians) and Ultramontanes (foreigners), eadi ha vinp its 
own rector, wlio must have taiiglit law for live years, and liave been a student of the I'tii- 
verslty, and could not he a monk. The students elected this rector, and none of the 
piofessors had any voice in the assembly, unless they had previously been rectors. In the 
faculty of theology, however, the professors governed. Popes Gregory I.\., Boniface VIII., 
Clement V., ,Iohn X.XII-, addressed their Decretals " to the doctors and scholars of Bologna." 

(2). The thirteenth cc^ntury was an unfortunate one for letters in (iermany. Leibnitz 
says that the tenth was gulden, compared with the thirteenth ; Heereii calls it most unfruit- 
ful ;' Meiners <'(>nstantly deplor(>sit: Kichorn designates it as " wisdom degenerated into 
barbarism." But with the fourteentli century came a change. The University of Vienna 
was founded In Vm; that of Heidelberg in 1380; of Erfurt, 1392; of Leipsic, 1409; Wiirz- 


be borne in mind that in most of tliese establishments in- 
struction was gratuitous ; the zeal of Popes, bishops, 
emperors, kings, and other great ones of those times, found 
no more natural outlet than the endowment of these institu- 
tions. The celibac}^ of the clergy, well remarks Archbishop 
Martin Spalding, did more, perhaps, for this free tuition 
than anything else : " Clergymen whose income exceeded 
their expenses felt bound by the spirit, if not by the letter 
of the Canon Law, to appropriate the surplus to charitable 
purposes, among which the principal was the founding of 
hospitals and schools. The forty-four colleges attached to 
the University of Paris were most of them founded by 
clergymen." (1). 

But we constantly hear that, in the Middle Ages, the 
clergy systematically kept the laity in ignorance ; that even 
the nobility were so uncultivated, that in the public acts of 
those times it is quite common to meet the clause : " and 
the said lord declares that, because of his condition of gentle- 
man, he knows not how to sign (his name)." Charlemagne 
himself, it is said, knew not how to write. But are these 
allegations true ? lu the early period of the middle ages, 
undoubtedly, ignorance was the lot of the warriors who 
became the progenitors of most of the European nobles ; 
but when these barbarians had become Christians and 
members of civilized society, is it true that they generally 
remained in that ignorance ? The learned Benedictine, 
Cardinal Pitra (2), has proved that in nearly all monas- 
teries there were two kinds of schools— the internal, for the 
youth who wished to become religious ; and the external, 
for the children of the nobility. And do we not know how 

burg, 1410 ; Rostock, 1419 ; Louvain, 1425 ; Dola. 1426 ; Treves, 1454 : Freiburg, 1456 ; Basel, 
1459 ; Iiigolstadt, 1472 ; Tiibingen and Metz, 1477 ; Cologne, 1488. " Gerard Groot, " says 
Cantii, "a student of Paris, founded, in 1376, at Deventer, his native place, an order every 
member of which was bound to help the poor, either by his manual labor or by teaching 
gratuitously. Very soon the order, associating thus the two passions of that day, piety and 
study, taught trades and writing in the monasteries which were called of St. Jerome, or of 
the Good Brethren, or of the Common Life ; and in other places it kept schools of writing 
and of mechanics for poor children. To others it taught Latin, Greek, Mathematics. Fine 
Arts, and even Hebrew. In 14*3, it had forty-flve houses, three times that number in 
1460; and in 1474 it established a printing-house in Brussels. Thomas a Kempis trans- 
ported the system to St. Agnes, near Zwoll, where were formed the apostles of classi,; 
literature in Germany— Maurice, count of Spiegelberg, and Rudolph Langius, afterwards 
prelates : Anthony Liber, Louis Dringeuterg, Alexander Hegius, and Rudolph Agricola." 
Univ. Hist., b. xiii., c. 29. 

(1). Loc. cit., art. Schixih mid Universities in the '' Daik A'j-:s." 

«). In his Histoni of St. Lcger. 


Abelard's retreat was filled with huiidrecls of youug nobles 
zealous for knowledge ? Vincent of Beauvais (y, 1250) 
writes that " the children of the nobility need to acquire 
expensive learning," and Giles of Rom me says that " the 
sons of kings and of great lords must have masters to teach 
them all science, and especially the knowledge of Latin.* 
The nobles could not have despised learning as much as. 
they are said to have despised it, when they were so zealous 
in founding schools of learning. At Paris alone, six col- 
leges were founded by noble laymen ; that of Laon, in 1313, 
by Guy of Laon and Raoul de Presles ; that of Presles, in 
1313, by Raoul de Presles ; that of Bon court, in 1357, by 
Peter de Flechinel ; that of La Marche, in 1362, by William 
de la Marche and Beuve de Winville ; that of the Grassins, 
by Peter d'Ablon, in 1569 ; and that of the Ave Maria, in 
1336, by John of Hubant. The following remarks of a judi- 
cious critic (1), concerning the too general opinion as to the 
ignorance of the medieval laity, are worthy of attention : 
" The researches of M. de Beaurepaire concerning public 
instruction in the diocese of Rouen, the History of the 
Schools of 3Iontauhan from the tenth to the sixteenth cen- 
tury, and several other local monographs, not to speak of du 
Boulay and de Crevier, show what this assertion is worth. 
If the middle class and the peasants knew nothing, it was. 
because they wished not to learn, for the olden France had 
no less than 60 000 schools ; each town had its groiipes 
scolaires, as they say in Paris ; each rural parisli had its ped- 
agogue, its magister, as they style him in the North. In the 
thirteenth centur}^ all the peasants of Normandy could 
read and write, carried writing materials at their girdles, 
and many of them were no strangers to Latin. The nobles 
were no more hostile to letters than were the peasants ; 
they were associated in tlie poetical movement of the South 
— as Bei'trand de Born, William of Aqnitaine, and Bernard 
of Ventadour bear witness. The first chroniclers who wrote 
in French were nobles (and laymen) — Villehardouin and 
Joinville. In 1337, the scions of the first families followed 

(1). M. Louandre, In the Revue des Detix Mondes for Jan. 15, 187", p. 452. 


the courses of the uniA^ersity of Orleans. As to the docu 
merits wliicli they are said to have been unable to sign, 
' because of their condition of gentlemen,' such papers do 
not exist, and we defy the paleographers to produce one 
containing the alleged formula. As to another proof of 
mediaeval ignorance, recourse is had to the crosses traced at 
the foot of documents of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, 
and to the absence of signatures in those of the thirteenth ; 
but this pretended proof cannot stand the tests of diplomatic 
science. In those days, acts were not authenticated by 
written names, but by crosses and seals. The most ancient 
royal signatures are of no earlier date than that of Charles 
V. (d. 1380).'" 

As to the pretended ignorance of Charlemagne, we pre- 
fer more ancient authority than that of Voltaire (1), the 
author of this assertion. Now, in the Acts of the Council of 
Fisme, held in 881, we read that the bishops exhorted Louis 
III. to imitate '■ Charlemagne, who used to place tablets 
under his pillow, that he might take note of whatever came 
to his mind during the night, which would profit the 
Church or conduce to the prosperity of his kingdom." It 
was the celebrated Hincmar who, in the name of the Coun- 
cil, drew up these Acts of Fisme, and he certainly is good 
authority in this matt^^r, for he had passed much of his life 
in the society of Louis the Compliant, a son of Charlemagne. 
But is not the testimony of Eginhard, son-in-law of Charle- 
magne, to be preferred to that of the prelates of Fisme ? 
Sismondi, who admits the extraordinary learning of the 
great emperor, is so impressed by the words of Eginhard,, 
that he concludes that this prince acquired his knowledge 
by oral teaching (2). as indeed, owing to tlie cost of books 
at that time, nearly all students acquired an education. 
We would prefer the authority of the bishops of France, 
headed by Hincmar, to that of Eginhard ; but the two 
testimonies do not conflict. Eginhard writes : " He tried to 
write, and used to keep tablets under the pillows of his 
bed, so that, when time permitted, he could accustom his 

(1) Essay on Custonm In Introduction ; Anudls of the Empire. , 
(S) History of the French, vol. i., p. 318. Paris, 1821. 


iiand to the forming of letters ; but he had little success in 
a task, difficult in itself, and assumed so late in life." 
Eginhard admits, then, that Charlemagne Lad some success 
in his endeavors, and we know that he could form his 
monogram ; that, with his own hand, he transcribed the 
songs which recounted the exploits of ancient kings. We 
are therefore led to accept the interpretation of Eginhard's 
remark as given by the erudite Lambecius, and since that 
author's time, by the best commentators, that therein there 
is no question of writing in general, but merely of a run- 
ning hand. In fine, Charlemagne could write by means of 
what we style square or printed letters, and few of the 
olden Mss. are written in any other ; he found it difficult 
to write the running hand, and " kept tablets under his pil- 
low, that he might practise," that style of writing ; he could 
Avrite, but he was not a caligrapher. Such is the opinion of 
Michelet (1), of Henri Martin (2), of Guizot <3). Since 
Eginhard is adduced to prove the ignorance of Charle- 
magne, it is well to note what this chronicler, in the same 
chapter, tells us about the emperor's learning. Charle- 
magne spoke Latin fluently and with elegance ; Greek was 
just as familiar to him, but his pronunciation of it was 
defective. He was passionately fond of the fine arts. He 
assembled at his court the wisest men of the day, and very 
soon he equalled his masters in their respective branches. 
He began the composition of a grammar ; he undertook a 
version of the Gospel, based on the Greek and Syriac 
texts (4). He perfectly understood the intricacies of lit- 
urgy, psalmody, the Gregorian Chant, etc. During his 
meals, he listened to the reading of histories; he was 
especially fond of St. Augustine's Citij of God. He pre- 
ferred to attend the schools he had founded, rather than 
any kind of amusement. He compellpcl his daughters, as 
well as his sous, to cultivate the fine arts (5). 

(1) Histin-y "' I'rancf. edit, ^xi'\ vol. i.. p. 3'«. 

(2) Hii<t<>ni of yraiuc, eiXii. l-^.V). vol- ii.. p- '-yJ. 

(4) Lambecius, in his (■<>minnitori,:< <„i the Iniiicnal Lilnaru at 1 ieitiia, (1655). b. 11.. 
c. 5. speaks of a Ms-, e.vplaluiuK the Eimth in the Homam. corrected by the hand of 

^'(trTho nionk of St. Gallo. in his Cnra Eccl, narrates that one day Charlemagne said 
to \lcuin • '• How haopv I would l)e. if I had t wel ve ecclesiastics as learned as SS. Jerome 
and AuRustlne ' " Alciiin replied : " Ood made only two such, and you want twelve .' 


But were not the Middle Ages excessively superstitious ? 
To the mind of the average Protestant, who regards the 
Catholic religion as composed — to a great extent— of doc- 
trines and practices not revealed and authorized by God, 
the Middle Ages must appear superstitious. In those days, 
says Montalembert, " when love had embraced heaven and 
its Queen, and all its blessed inhabitants, it descended 
again to the earth to people it in its turn. The earth 
which had been assigned for the dwelling of men— the 
earth, that beautiful creation of God — became also the 
object of their fertile solicitude, of their ingenuous affec- 
tion. Men who were then called learned, and perhaps 
justly, studied nature with the scrupulous care wherewith 
Christians ought to study the works of God ; but they 
could not think of regarding it as a body without superior 
life ; they ever sought in it mysterious relations with the 
duties and religious belief of man ransomed by his God ; 
they saw in the habits of animals, in the phenomena of 
plants, in the singing of birds, in the virtues of precious 
stones, so many symbols of truth consecrated by faith (1). 
Pedantic nomenclatures had not yet invaded and pro- 
faned the world which Christianity had regained for the 
true God. When, at night, the poor man raised his eyes to 
the blue dome above, he saw there, instead of the Milky 
Way of Juno, the road which conducted his brethren on the 
pilgrimage of Compostella, or that by which the blessed 
went to heaven. Flowers, especially, presented a world 
peopled with the most charming images, and a mute lang- 
uage which expressed the liveliest and most tender senti- 
ments. The people joined the learned in giving to these 
sweet objects of their daily attention the names of those 
whom they loved the most, the names of the Apostles, of 
favorite Saints, or of Saints whose innocence and purity 
seemed reflected in the spotless beauty of the flowers (2). 
.... The birds, the plants, all that man met on his way, 
all that had life, had been marked by him with his faith 

(1) See the Xatura] 3Iin-or of Vincent of Beauvais. 

(2; The spirit of our day has seen flt to replace the sweet memory of Mary, as cultivated 
In the language of flowers, by that of Venus. Among many instances may be cited the 
modern Ctipripedium Calceoliis, which used to be called the '* Virgin's Shoe." 


and his life. This earth was one vast kingdom of love 
and also of science ; for all had its reason, and its reason in 
f.iith. Like those burning rays which shot from the wounds 
of Christ, and impressed the sacred stigma on the limbs of 
Francis of Assisi, even so did the beams from the heart of 
the Christian race, of simple and faithful man, stamp on 
every particle of nature the remembrance of heaven, the 
imprint of Christ, the seal of love " (1). There were assured- 
ly many instances of puerility, many acts of credulity, in the 
piety of the Middle Ages, and the Church took cognizance 
of and condemned them ; but none of these abuses of faith 
are to be compared to the abuses of the " philosophy" of 
modern times. 

Sismondi, Michelet, and even Henri Martin, following in 
the traces of more serious but mistaken historians (2), have 
found a proof of the superstition of the Middle Ages in the 
terror which is presumed to have seized upon Christen- 
dom, at the approach of the year 1000, — the date then 
generally assigned, sa}^ these writers, for the end of the 
world. Since most men believe that this world is to come, 
at some time, to an end, we might ask whether the term 
superstition can rightly be applied to any terror expe- 
rienced at the expected consummation. But is it true, as 
Sismondi says, that at this period, " all humanity was in 
the situation of a criminal who has received his sentence ; 
all bodily or mental labor ceased, for want of an object " (3), 
and as Michelet says, " The prisoner in his dungeon, the 
serf in his hut, the monk amid the mortifications of the 
cloister, entertained the terrible hope of the last judg- 
ment " ? (4). Not one of the old chroniclers speaks of such 
a state of mind ; nay. one of them, Tliietmar of Merseburg, 
speaks of the year 1000 as one of enlightenment and glor}' (5). 
Let Hermann Contractus (1054), Lambert of Aschaffen- 
burg (1077), Sigebert of Gembloux (1119), Vincent of 


•'') Bako.nk), AniKth, y. 1001, no. 1 ;— The Uent^dictiue Literarn History of France, 
vol. vl., fn pniface.— LoNcii'KVAi.. Hixtoru of tlir Freiirh Church, vol. vll.— CaumontI' -Ami-krk, Lit. Hi.<l. of France, vol. in.—BERaiKR, &Tt. ff'orhi. 

(.1) Fall of the lioni'iii Kii\\)iii\ vol. ill., p. 397 ; Paris, l!535. 

(4) Hixtoni of France, vol. li., p. i:^.' ; Paris, 1835. 

C>) Annals of hui time, iu Pertz, vol. v. . 


Beauvais (1250), Eolleviuck (1480), be cousulted, and no 
indication of the supposed terrors will be found. Trithe- 
mius. who flourished in the sixteenth century, is the first 
chronicler to mention them (1). Certainly, Michelet ad- 
duces the testimonj' of the Council of Trosly, in 909 ; but 
to say nothinp; of this Council having been held ninety 
years before the supposed panic, we will let the reader 
judge if the fathers spoke as though they feared a near end 
of the world. " For us who bear the title of bishops, the 
burden of the pastoral charge becomes insupportable, as 
the moment approaches when we must render an account 
of the mission confided to us, and of the profit we have 
amassed. Soon will arrive the terrible day when all the 
pastors will, with their flocks, appear before the Supreme 
Pastor " (2). But it is said that the public documents of 
that time are filled with such expressions as " the terrible 
day is at hand," and "the end of the world approaches." 
To this objection, a modern critic (3) replies : "The erudi- 
tion of those (4) who thus object, is a little at fault. If 
they had consulted special works on diplomatic science (5), 
they would have learned that these expressions were not 
invented in the tenth century ; they were used in the 
seventh century, and hence have no connection with the 
terrors of the year 1000." Certainly, remarks Barthelemy 
(6), a merely cursory view of the religious, political, and 
artistic state of the world at the end of the tenth century, 
would show that neither sovereigns, nor clergy, nor nobles, 
nor people, were buried in torpor. Tn March, 999, Pope 
Gregory V. died, but no anticipation of the imminent end 
of the world prevented the election of a new Pontiff. In 
this same year, the emperor Otho III. so little thought of 
the coming ruin of earthly things, that he created the king- 
dom of Poland. Then also, king Stephen of Hungary 
organized his provinces, and founded bishoprics and mon- 

(1) Annals, vol. I., y. 1000. 

(2) Council of Trosley, y. 909, In Labbe and Mansi- 

(3) The Benedictine, Fr. Plaine, in vol. xiii. of the Review of Historical Questions, 
1873, p. 147. 

(4) MiCHAUD ; Crusades, vol 1.— Escalopier ; Preface on the Work of Theophilus. 
(.5) Wailly; Elements nf Paleooraphy, vol. i. p. -204. 

(o) Hi.s/onca! Errnr.i, vol. xiv.. p. 206, Paris, 1881. 


asteries ; while Adalbert of Prague was civilizing the 
hordes along the Vistula and the Niemen. In Spain, the 
patriotic Christians were tr^'ing, as of old, to reclaim their 
country from the Saracens, with no idea that soon any 
country would be only a name. At Constantinople, no 
thought of a coming annihilation of all earthly grandeur 
caused any cessation of the usual usurpations of the 
Byzantine throne. Finally, the numerous Councils held 
during the last ten years of the tenth century show that 
churchmen gave no heed to the few visionaries who then, 
as in our day, proclaimed that the career of the Church 
militant was about to close. We may well conclude, there- 
fore, that the silence of contemporary authors on a fact of 
such importance as the panic of the year 1000, the weak- 
ness of the arguments used to uphold it, the tenor of the 
documents of that period, and all the general ideas we can 
form concerning the state of the world at that time, furnish 
so many reasons for believing the terrors of the year 1000 
to be a myth. 

The Middle Ages cannot be regarded as a starless night; 
and even though they furnish nothing worthy of our imita- 
tion, there is much in them for us to learn. Then it was 
that were prepared those ameliorations which render mod- 
ern society, in some respects, preferable to the ancient ; 
" that period, says Cantu," '' was one of gestation — incon- 
venient, certainly, but necessary, and it must be judged b}- 
its effects." The Middle Ages commenced in barbarism ; 
they ended in modern civilization, which, as Guizot re- 
marks, is merely a mixture of three elements — Barbarism, 
old Rome, and the Gospel. But, as Guizot did not ob- 
serve, the part played by Barbarism and old Rome was 
comparatively small; they were obstacles rather tlian aids 
to the development ftf the modern Christian principle. 
The feudal system was barbarian ; the debasement of the 
lower classes was a legacy from old Rome and old Germany ; 
but to Christianity the Middle Ages owfd tln^ fusion of 
races, the abolition of personal slavery, the emancipation 
of women, chivalry, and the sacerdotal intlneiico which 
protectpd tlip poor. The statistical rosearches of Darcau — 


Delamalle, of Guerard, and especially of Count L. Cibrario 
prove that the Middle Ages formed an epoch of immense 
progress in public prosperity. It was then that industry 
and commerce founded tJie Communes ; and so influential 
did the industrial and commercial classes become, that 
even in the thirteenth century their representatives sat in 
the States General of every country in Western and South- 
ern Europe. Even then, the workiogmen of Florence {il 
popolo minuto) claimed a share in the sovereignty snatched 
from the nobles by the wealthy bankers and manufacturers 
[il popolo cjrasso). The weavers and artisans of Ghent and 
Bruges could claim their privileges from the burgeois with 
a firmness equal to that they showed in resisting the en- 
croachments of the courts of Flanders. Tnclustry certainly 
held a secondary place in a pre-eminently religious period, 
but, " though labor must be respected, devotion is a virtue. 
The soldier who gives his blood, and the priest who gives 
his entire self, occupy a more elevated plane than that of 
a man who hires out his muscle, and a far more elevated 
one than that of the manufacturer who seeks his fortune." 



The Revival of the Western Empire under Charlemagne. 

At the death of Constantine, in the year 341, the empire 
of the West fell to Constantine the Younger and Constans ; 
that of the East to Constantius. In 353, Constantius suc- 
ceeded to the united empires. Julian followed Constan- 
tius, and then came Jovian. Valentinian, the next emperor, 
ceded the East to his brother Valens in 368, and until 476 
the empire remained divided. In 476, Augustulus was de- 
posed by the Herulan king Odoacer, the entire West was 
overpowered by barbarians, and the Roman empire sur- 
vived only in the East. However, the valor of Belisarius 
and Narses enabled the Byzantine rulers to revive the 
Western empire, and in 556 Justinian's sceptre swayed 

(1) Fecgueb^v; Is Christianity Hostile to IiuJustiij / Paris, 1844. 


over both sections. The Coastantinopolitau sovereigns 
now exercised jurisdiction over the West until the eightli 
century, when their own lethargy, cowardice, and general 
(corruption reduced their power in those parts to a mere 
name. We have already noticed the gradual formation of 
the temporal dominion of the Roman Pontiffs. (1). In the 
year 800, on Christmas day (2), Pope Leo III. put an end to 
even the nominal authority of Byzantium over the West, 
by placing the crown of a new Western empire upon the 
brow of the Prankish king Charles, now called the Great ; 
"thus consummating," writes Csesar Balbo, "the greatest 
event recorded in European history during more than a 
thousand years ; an event which dominated history, at first 
in fact, and to our own days, at least in name." It is not 
our province to inquire whether Pope Leo III. had a "di- 
vine right" to transfer the empire of the West from the 
Byzantines to the Franks ; whether, that is, from the fact 
that the Roman Pontiff, as supreme pastor of the Univer- 
sal Church, is spiritual ruler over Christians of sovereign 
as well as of private rank, it follows that, when the interests 
of Christendon demand it, he can and ought to dis})ose 
of kingdoms and em])ires. It is sufficient for us to 
know that in the time of Leo III. this principle was recog- 
nized by Christendom. And no one will deny that the 
public weal required the change then made, even though 
that change had to be inaugurated at the expense of ancient 
and respected institutions. To say nothing of the miseries 
caused to Christendom by the Arians and Iconoclasts, the 
other evils which the Pontiffs and tlieir subjects, both tem- 
poral and spiritual, were forced to endure, owing to the 
decline of the imperial power, rendered necessary ;• restora- 
tion of that power in the person of one who would use it 
with strength and wisdom. Fornearlv four centuries Italy 
had been the ])leeding prey, not only of barbarians but of 
her Byzantine suzerains ; the Eternal City had been sacked 
repeatedly by the foreigner, and her streets had flowed 
with citizen blood, the shedding of which ctnild have been 

(1) Vol. i., cliai). 4i>. 

(2) At thai tlmi- the year was calculated from riiristiuas day ; but accordlnsr to the pres- 
ent inethoil of (■oiii|iut:itioii, ihc coroiiatioii of (tiarleiiiaj;iie occuireii in the year Til'.t. 


prevented by a strong and willing hand. A few montlis 
before Leo III. proclaimed king Charles the Defender of 
the Holy See, armed rebels had attacked the holy Pontiff 
during a solemn religions function, and after trying to 
pluck out his eyes and tongue, had left him for dead. For 
-centuries the Byzantine emperors had trifled with the Holy 
See ; some had even undertaken the assassination of its in- 
cumbent. The Lombards had indeed been defeated, but 
they waited for the Franks to recross the Alps, and then 
^gain they would pounce on their wonted prey. Any one 
-of these reasons was sufficient to justify Pope Leo III. in 
trying the experiment of a new empire. 

As to the ultimate utility of Pope Leo's action, even 
Catholic publicists differ. Whether or not the weary and 
soul-absorbing contest between the Papacy and the empire 
would have ensued, in some form or another, even though 
the Holy Roman Empire had never been excogitated, is 
doubtful ; but it is certain that the struggle commenced 
almost with the blessing of Charlemagne's crown, and 
ended only in 1806, with the dissolution of the empire. 
That the institution was of benefit to the then nascent 
modern Europe, is certain. But Italy suffered much from 
the persistent, and too often criminal, interference of the 
new emperors, who were, as Cantu aptly describes them, 
" a heterogeneous element, which often impeded the prog- 
Tess of Italy, and finally degraded her"' (1). Hence it :s 
that many Italian publicists show themselves hostile to 
the Holy Eoman Empire, in its very inception, and are 
disposed to blame Leo III. for want of foresight. Even the 
modern Neo-Guelph school, of which Cantu may be re- 
garded, in historical matters, as the chief, frequently shows 
very plainly that its heart is not enlisted when it assumes 
the defence of Pope Leo's action. Cantu seems to regard 
Italy as having been " the necessary victim for European 
prosperity," and he calls on his countrymen to " bear the 
misfortune with decorum, and let those who profited by it 
not insult us" (2). And the great historian finds consola- 
tion in the fact that " the coming of the Northerners to this 

(1) Unh: Hi^t.. h. ix.. c. 10. (2i Ihid. 


shrine of knowledge and of civil order helped to refine- 
them." The learned Benedictine, Tosti, laments the coro- 
nation of Charlemagne by the authority of God, as Pope 
Leo phrased it. The Pontiff, thinks Tosti, should have 
said, " crowned by me," and then he would not have " made 
the imperial power depend on God," and his successors 
would not have discovered "how much exertion and how 
much blood it costs to make an emperor feel that between 
God and him there is a Pope." (1) 

As to the nature of the transfer of the Western empire 
to the Franks, political and national predilections, as well, 
as religious ones, have produced many and various theories. 
The question is very important ; for upon the point of view 
from which we regard this transfer, will depend, almost 
entirely, the judgments we will form concerning the many 
intricate and tantalizing questions which will arise when we 
come to investigate the long and persistent struggle be- 
tween the Church and the empire. In every conflict between 
the Roman Pontiff and the Holy Roman, or, as he came to 

(1) History of the Lmnhard Lcnuiir, Montecassino, 184S.— " When Rome and Italv lost 
the imperial presence, the idea of the empire weakened in minds whieli saw no escape 
from misery, no civil powi-r to fniell disorder. Oppressed bv the barbarians, unprotected 
by public autliority, the Ut>mans turned to the Pope and to the Church, from whom alone 
came any comf(jrt or aid, and all were persuaded that the rifrht of tlje nom;in empire— im- 
poleiitly exercised by the Byzantine sovereigns,- now resided in the theocratic empire of 

tlie FontilTs In tlie necessity of liavinfr some one who would actuate this power 

not only the Romans, but all the peoples, assented to the Papal disposal of the imperial 
dif,niity. Tlie Pope was the sole maLHstrate in Rome who was a Roman ; the clertrv patri- 
cians, and people concurred in his election. Therefore, the candidates for the' emiiire 
were to bow before him, the only representative of Rome ...... When his I'ontiflcal per- 
son had been brutally profaned, Leo III. felt that, in such times, the liberty and dignity of 
his olHce re(|uired a continuous protection by the civil power. Hence he recalled Charles 
to Italy, and crowned him emperor. Fatal coronation! 'Life and victory,' cried the 
Pontiff, ' to the mo'<t pious and aiitrust Charles, crowned bv (Jodfrreat and paci'tic emperor '' 
And with those words be«an the story of Italian misforiiines With his rii;ht hand. Leo 
placeil a trolden crown on the head of that forei<nier, and althousrh unwittinjrlv. witli his 
left he laid (me of thorns on the brows of unfortmuite Italv. Retter the barbarians than 
an emperor ! The f(jriner desolated, indeed, but Ihev did hot kill the trerm of regenera- 
tion; the latter srnawed into the marrow of Italian worth, and prostrated its stren-'th. 
.\inid the tribulations of anarchy, Leo hoped for a refujre in the new empire; his succes- 
sors found it a tyranny. Would that he had said : 'Ciowned bv me'! But he preferred ■ 
Crowned by (iod , and thus made the imiM-rial power depend from (iod ; and his succes- 
sors discovered, etc Leo fancied thai in the shadow of the empire lie would repose 

as in the bosom of Hod ; he fancied that this su|ireme civil jiower would aid the PoniitTs in 
their task of retr.'iii'ratjnir the world with the (iospel ; he fancied that the emperors would 
always bow before the I'upal power from which alone thev held their crown, and that t)- v 
would ever be docile children of Holv Chiuvh. Perhaps, when (hariemaf.'-ne llrst felt the 
pressureof the diadem, he responded heartilv to the Pajial intontions. liut that a man 
crowned in such a beatitude of thirsty amliition. could lontr think of Pope, of Go.spel, or of 

(lOd. let him Ix'heve it who can ! I do not think that fharlema^rne ever dreamed of 

sub.ieclinir the Pontiff to himself, of destroyintr the liliertv of the Chinvh. He was ii good 
Cluisiiiiii, if wn Shu; (lur eyes to certain domestic and Aciandtic faults. And .some of his 
faults were no, malicious; for instance, wlion he deputed abiiot Anirelbert to admonish 
Pope Leo coiiceniins.' thi- inteLMity of his life, the ol,s.-i vance of the canons, and the l'ooiI 

irovernment of the Holy Church of (iod'. Ik- was simplv pioiislv impudent That 

which the Pontiff Imposed upon Charlemat'iie as a law, he and his successors termed a 
riirlii ; and every one knows what kind of a protector he is who forces you to awept h^s 
aid. The enifx'ror, In order to protect the Church, had an opportiinitv "to meddle In her- 
iinairs.' Loc. cit.. 15. I. 


^be erroneously styled, the German emperor, just so surely as 
justice was nearly always on the side of the Holy See, so 
surely the emperor's pretensions were founded on a false 
assumption as to the nature of the transfer made to 
-Charles by Pope Leo III. The root of every controversy 
between the Papacy and the empire was the imperial idea, 
more or less veiled, that the Pontiff was a subject of tlie 
emperor; that Pope Leo III., in his own name and that of 
his successors,voluntarily abdicated his temporal crown, or 
at least sank his position as an independent sovereign into 
Hihat of a mere vassal to a diadem of his own creation. A 
:few emperors, indeed, enunciated this theory in as many 
-words. Now this extravagant supposition could be sus- 
•tained only by another, equally unfounded ; that is, that 
when Leo III. placed the imperial crown on the head of the 
J'rankish king Charles, he conferred on that prince merely 
.the imperial title, and nothing else which said Charles did 
not already possess— that, in fine, the Koman Pontiff was 
not the source of the imperial right. Hence it is that, con- 
•cerning this historical question, a unity of thought pre- 
vails among Gallicau, courtier-theological, Protestant, and 
■rationalistic writers. The publicists of the old Galilean 
•school, albeit generally men of great sanctity, were exces- 
sively devoted to their monarchy, and therefore they readily 
espoused any theory, not radically heretical, which tended 
rto restrain the " encroachments " of Eome. The courtier- 
theologians, or rmJici (as they are styled in the schools), 
•either from a mistaken patriotism, or for the crumbs from 
■the imperial table, were ever prompt in so shaping both 
religious and historical doctrine as to countenance almost 
•any pretension of the crown. Protestants and free-thinkers 
naturally advocate any theory that will lessen the power or 
diminish the prestige of the Holy See. Chief among the 
apologists of imperial autocracy, and more or less followed 
by all of that ilk in- modern times, is Mathias Vlacich, 
generally known as Flaccius Illyricus (1), against whom 

(1) This author was borti (1520) in Istria, and heuce his surname of Illyricus. He became 

a professor of theology at Jena, but is best known as the origrinator, and one of the four 

principal authors of the famous Protestant work, the Centnrie>f of MagcWnuij. The other 

' " Centuriators " were Lejeudiu, Fabert, and Wigand, but all worked under the supervision 

.of Flaccius. 


Bellarmine wrote bis valuable dissertation on the Tranftfer 
if tlir. Eininrefrom t/ie Greeks to flie Frdnhs. Among Catholic 
writers who, with some modifications, agree with the 
Illyrian in this matter, are Thomassin (1), Francis Feu (2), 
Bossuet, and Alexandre. Bossiiet admits that Charlemagne 
received the empire in the year 800, but contends that he 
derived his right from an election by the Roman people. 
Alexandre is careful to concede that " Charlemagne did 
not receive from Leo III. merely an empty title. He re- 
ceived a most ample dignity, corresponding to the sublimity 
of that title." We shall take Bellarmine as our guide in 
refuting the theory advanced by these authors ; and in 
order to show that it was solely by the authority of the 
Roman Pontiff that the empire was transferred from the 
Greeks to the Franks, we shall first adduce the testimony 
of competent historians, and that of Pontifi's and princes- 
who were well acquainted with their own rights. 

Paul the Deacon, a friend of Charlemagne, after a nar- 
ration of that prince's subjugaticni of the conspirators 
Paschal and Campalus, adds : "As a reward to Charles, Pope 
Leo crowned him emperor in the church of St. Peter" (3). 
Cedrenus (y. 1070)), a Greek historian, says: "Legates 
came from Charles to Irene, demanding her hand, after 
Pope Leo had crowned him at Rome" (4). Zonaras, an- 
otlier Greek author (y. 1118), says : Charles having been 
crowned by Leo, and acclaimed as emperor of the Romans, 
the Franks became all-powerful in Rome (5). These 
authors make no mention of the Roman senate or people as- 
liaving been instrumental in the advancement of Charles. 
Eginhard, son-in-^aw and chancellor of Charlemagne, speaks^ 
still more plainly : '' Charles was so averse, at first, to the 
title of Augustus, that he declared that, although the day 
was one of festival, he would not have entered the church, 
if he had been aware of the Pontiff's intention " (6). The 
Annals of ilio Franks say : " Pope Leo placed a crown upon 
the head of Charles, and the Romans cried : ' Life and 
victory to Charles, crowned by God great and pacific em- 

(11 rHKcipliue, pt. HI, I). 1, c. 29. (4) l.ifi af Ctnis/initiiir (Uiil Ircue^ 

CJi A^ino, </. I, art. 4. (."ii Ihiil. 

(:^» Itdiniiii Afdirs. U. 23. (y) Life of (.'liuiliiiUiunc. 


peror of the Romans ! ' " (1). The reader will observe that 
the Romans acclaimed Charles as crowned by God, and that 
they did not call him emperor until after the coronation 
(2). Witikind of Corbie, writing in the beginning of the 
tenth century, says of Otho II., who was crowned in 969 : 
" Although he was already anointed asking, and designated 
as emperor by the blessed Apostolic (Pope) ". Here Witi- 
kind indicates the essential difference between the Holy 
Roman Empire and the kingdom of the Germans, or of the 
Franks, as the case might be. A confusion of these insti- 
tutions is too often made, and while one may pardon it in a 
tyro in historical matters, it is inexcusable in a professed 
publicist. To name and instal the king of the Franks or 
the king of the Germans, was an affair of the Frankish or 
German electors ; to name, or at least to confirm and crown 
the emperor of the Romans, was the right of the Roman 
Pontiff. This distinction is enunciated by Liutprand writ- 
ing in the days of Otho I. (962-973) ; by Hermann Contractus, 
a contemporary of St. Henry (1014-1024) ; by Duodechin 
(1200), continuator of Marianus JScotus ; by Lambert of 
AschaSenburg (1070). Otho of Frisingen (1146) must have 
had every opportunity to learn the nature of the imperial 
tenure, for he was related in the second or third degree to 
the fourth and fifth Henry, to Conrad, and to Frederick I 
Now this author never gives the title of emperor to his 
grandfather, king Henry IV., until after his nomination by 
the anti-Pope Guibert, and then he declares that Henry 
•' was forcibly, rather than lawfully, elevated " (3). Accord- 
ing to bishop Otho, therefore, ardent imperialist though 
he was, only a legitimate Pope could make a legitimate- 
emperor. Lupoid of Bamberg (4). ^^iieas Sylvius (5), 
Platina (6), Trithemius (7), and a host of other writers, 
prove the strength of our position. 

But what was the opinion of the early emperors on this 
matter ? When Charles the Bald contended with his broth- 
er Louis, king of the Germans, for the empire, he rushed 

(1) Y. 801. 

(2) Nothing hut the acclamation of the already crowned emperor is attributed to the, 
Uonians liv Aimou (820), Addo of Vlenne (860t, or Rhegino (90s,'. 

Vi) B. vii., c. 11. (6) Life (<t Lcii. III. 

(I) P\^'f■.l(■^' to Riijhtx i>f the Empire. u) CuUiUupte of Writers. 

(5) Cointjeitdium of BIduiIus. 


toward Eome, to receive the crown from Pope John YIII. 
According to Cuspiuian, Ehegino, and Marianus Scotus, 
Louis endeavored to prevent this jouruej, even sending an 
array to intercept Charles, and when the latter had beaten 
this army and had gone on to Eome, Louis took his re- 
venge by devastating the French border. Now if Charles 
and Louis had regarded the Papal action as a mere cere- 
mony, why did the one so strenuously labor to prevent it, 
:and why did the other take such pains, spend so much 
treasure, and run such risks for himself and dominions, 
to secure it ? The emperor Albert (1298) most earnestly, 
but vainly, besought Pope Boniface VIII. to declare the 
empire hereditary in his family (1). Henry YII. (1308), 
formerly count of Luxemburg, begged Pope Clement V. to 
confirm his election. (2). Louis IV., excommunicated and 
deposed by Pope John XXII., (1324), constantly endeavored 
to secure the good graces of that Pontiff and of his succes- 
sor, Benedict XII. Frederick I. (1154). speaking by the 
mouth of the bishop of Bamberg, begged of Pope Adrian 
IV. " to be promoted by him to the height of empire." 
The following passage of Albert Krantz (3), who wrote 
shortly before the Lutheran movement, illustrates the 
mind of the Redbeard on this subject : " The Pontiff tried, 
by condescension, to mollify the insolence of the Germans ; 
he came to the ro3'al camp with a retinue worthy of a Su- 
preme Pastor. The king hastened to meet him, and is said 
to have held the stirrup, as the Pope dismounted, and 
taking him reverently by the hand, to have conducted him 
to the royal tent. The bishop of Bamberg then delivered 
these words of the king : ' Apostolic Pontiff, as we have 
long ardently desired an interview with your Holiness, so 
we now joyfully enter upon it, giving thanks to God, the 
giver of all good things, who has led us to this place, and 
made us worthy for your most holy visit. We wish you to 
know, reverend father, that the entire Church, collected 
from all parts for the honor of the kingdom, has led her 
prince to your Blessedness, to be promoted by j'ou to the 

(1) Chronicle of Albert of Strashuro. (i) Cutirad Vocer's Life of Hcm\i VII. 

(3) Saxon Ilistorii, h. vi., c Ki and K 


lieight of empire. He desei'A'es tliis by bis nobility, pru- 
dence, and fortitude ; by his fear of God, by the love of 
Catholic peace which reigns in his heart, and by a not or- 
dinary devotion to the Holy Roman Church. You witness 
his reverent recejDtion of your person ; how he has prostra- 
ted himself before your most holy footsteps. Therefore, 
venerable father, so act toward him, that what is now 
wanting in him of the fulness of imperial power, may be 

supplied b}' the munificence of your Blessedness' 

When they had sat down, the Pope said : ' When the prin- 
ces of the olden time came to ask for the crown, they were 
wont to allege some great deed to call for the good will of the 

Church thus Charles, by crushing the Lombards ; 

Otho, by repressing Berengarius ; the last Lothaire, by 
restraining the Normans ; merited to receive the imperial 
crown. Similarly, then, let the most serene king restore to 
■us and to the Church that province which is now usurped 
by the Normans ; we, then, will readily perform our part.' 
The princes then answered that, because of the great 
distance and the present weak condition of his troops, the 
king could not invade a great province. ' Let the Pontiff 
bless the king ; he shall not repent of being the first to 
confer a favor; for when the princes shall have returned to 
their own dominions, the^ will return with their king at the 
head of more powerful forces, and will perform the Church's 
wishes.' The Pope then yielded, promising to grant their 
request." But even the Byzantine sovereigns recognized 
the Eoman Pontifi's as the authors of the modern Western 
empire. When Michael Curopalates made peace and alli- 
ance with Charlemagne, he took care to have the treaty 
ratified by Pope Leo III. (1) When Emmanuel Comnenus 
heard of Barbarossa's contest with the Hol}^ See, he twice 
offered Pope Alexander III. an immense sum of money, a 
large army, and even a union of the schismatic Greek 
Church with that of Rome, providing that the Pontiff would 
confer the Western empire upon him and his successors of 
Constantinople. (2). When the empire became vacant by 
the death of Albert. Philip the Fair of France resolved 

(1) ADO of Vienne, at year 812. {'2) Blondds, Platina, andNArf> kr. 


upon urging Pope Clement V. to restore tlie Holy Koman 
empire to the French monarchs. Hearing of this, and 
wishing not to offend Philip, the Pontiff wrote to the elec- 
tors, pressing them to hasten their choice, and, if possible, 
to elect Hemy of Luxemburg. (1). Philip and the electors, 
therefore, were of the opinion that the Hol}^ See could 
transfer the empire from the Germans to the French, just 
as it had been previously transferred from the Greeks to 
the French, and from these latter to the Germans. 

That the Roman Pontiff was the source of imperial au- 
thority, is also shown by the actions and sayings of the 
Pontiffs. When the sons of the emperor Louis had deposed 
their father, and had taken his wife Judith from him. Pope 
Gref^ory IV. ordered the restitution of both throne and 
spouse (2). This he would not have done, had he not held 
that the empire was a dependency of the Holy See. When 
Charles the Bald endeavored to depose the emperor Louis 
the Younger, Pope Adrian IL threatened him with excom- 
munication ; Charles was much vexed, but he obeyed the 
Pontifical mandates (3). Pope Adrian IV., writing to the 
bishops of Germany, says : " The empire was so transferred 
from the Greeks to the Germans, that the king of the Ger- 
mans cannot be called emperor and Augustus until he is 
consecrated by the Eoman Pontiff, who promoted Charles, 
and gave him the great name of emperor.'' (4). When the 
Greek ambassador urged Pope Alexander III. to unite the 
two empires, the Pontiff replied (5) that he woul 1 not 
reunite what his predecessors had purposely separated. 
Innocent III., writing to the duke of Thuringia, says : "We 
recognize, as we ought, the right and power of electing; a 
king, to be afterwards promoted to the empire, in those 
princes to whom we know, from law and ancient custom, 
that the right belongs ; especially since that right and 
power were given by the Apostolic See which, in the person 
of the magnificent Charles, transferred the Roman empire 

(1) VKRt'hR. , „. . . • ■ „ , , 

f3) This Is proved by Paul ^rnilliis, Marianiis Scotiis, Uliesrino, and Aiirn)in.'lv. 
Ui.'n'fMif, siirebert asserts that Gregory IV. conspired with the sons of Louis against thar. 

(.;) AiMOiN : h. V. 21 and 27. 

(•) A V vTiNK A tiiialx of the Bavarians, h. Iv. 

(f>) Pi,,\;i.NA; LUc (if AUuande- III. 


from the Greeks to the Franks.'' Clement Y., iu the Fif- 
teenth Gen. Council (1311), issued a decree concerning the 
oath taken by the emperors to the Pontiffs, which commen- 
ces as follows : " The Roman princes, professing the 
orthodox faith, and venerating with prompt devotion the 
Holy Roman Church, whose head is Christ our Redeemer, 
and the Roman Pontiff, the vicar of the same Redeemer, 
have not deemed it unworthy to bow their heads to the 
same Rom .n Pontiff, from whom proceeds the approbation 
of the person who is to be located on the height of impe- 
rial power; (nor did they deem it unworthy) to bind them- 
selves to him, and to that same Church which transferred 
the empire from the Greeks to the Germans, and from 
which Church was derived, by certain of their princes, the 
right and power of electing a king, to be afterwards made 
emperor : as is all shown by ancient custom, renewed in 
latter times, and bv the form of oath inserted in the sacred 
canons." Pius II. (1460), writing to the sultan Mohammed 
II. (1), and exhorting him to become a Christian, promises 
him a just title to his dominions in the East : " We will 
call you emperor of the Greeks and of the East, and you 
will rightly possess that which you now occupy by force, 

and retain injuriously as our predecessors, Stej^hen, 

Adrian, and Leo, incited Pepin and Charlemagne against 
the Lombard kings, Astolphus and Desiderius, and having 
freed the empire from tyranny, transferred it from the 
Greeks to the liberators, so we will use your aid in the 
needs of the Church, and will return a favor received." 

Alexandre relies greatly upon the fact that in the creation 
of the new Western Empire the Greek sovereigns were de- 
spoiled of no provinces ; that, in fine, the Pontiff gave to 
Charles no dominions which he had not already in his 
power. This assertion is true, to some extent, (1) but the 
conclusion that Alexandre draws, namely that the Pontiff 

(1) Epist. 396. 

(1) We say that Alexandre's assertion Is true, only to some extent. While Charlemagne, 
before his coronation, was lord of Gaul, Germany, Pannonia, and a small part of Italy, he 
Old not possess Spain, the Apulia, Calabria, Sicily, Illyria, Africa, and other provinces of 
the Western Empire. We say nothing of Britain, for that province had been long indepen- 
dent, and as for his real possessions, none of them were his by Caesarean right; some 
belonged to him by royal, others obeyed him only by patrician right. By the translaiion of 
the empire, however, Charlemagne obtained over his old dominions the right of emperor 


did not, "properly speaking, transfer " the empire from the 
Greeks, is incorrect. Until Pope Leo III. saluted Charles 
as emperor, the claims of the Greek sovereigns to their an- 
cient Western dominions were, at least, in abeyance ; the 
foreign conquests of the Frankish king were held only by 
the armed hand. But when the Frankish monarch was 
proclaimed emperor of the West, those claims were con- 
signed forever to the realm of history, and public law re- 
garded Charles as their inheritor. Flaccius especially 
insists that "by right and by force Charles had seized the 
Western empire, before Leo crowned him it is cer- 
tain that Charles held the Western empire for more than 
twenty years before that Leonine — I had almost said, vul- 
pine — coronation." But why, for twenty years, did Charles 
not don the imj^erial crown ? Why do all historians date 
his empire from that Christmas day, when Leo IIL and his 
subjects saluted him '' Emperor of the Eomans " ? Simply 
because, down to that day, the empire lay with the sovereign 
of Constantinople. Some of the arguments adduced by the 
Illyrian apologist of German imperial autocracy are amus- 
ing. Thus, relying upon a passage of Lucius Florus, who 
wrote under Trajan, and who states that the Pharsalian 
victory of Caesar was due to certain German cohorts, he 
asserts that the Koman empire of the Germans commenced 
rather at that time than Avith the coronation of Charles : 
" You may truly say that the empire was not acquired by 
German valor merely in the time of Charlemagne, for no 
one doubts that the Roman empire was born and founded 
at the battle of Pharsal'.a, fought by Julius Caesar against 
Pompey. For there, says Lucius Florus, six German co- 
horts suddenly sent the numerous cavalry of Pompey fly- 
ing to the mountains, destroyed many of the archers and 
light troops, and finally routed the veteran Pompeian 
legions, thus being, as all historians testify, the beginning 

and Augustus, nnd ac'qiiire(1. hosides, a rifflit to all the other territories of the old empire 
which had heeii usiiriied liv ..thers. And, what was of no small nioineut iu those days, up- 
on the ein|)en>r devolved ah ilie titles, honors, and prerogatives of the old Oivsars. so that, 
as enipiTor, he took precedence of all oilier sovereifrns. even thousrh. as often happened, 
ihey were more powerful and far riclH-r than himself. Again, we must remember that the 
Imperial power was foundetl much more on opinion than on the inciimh«ut's possessioui. 
As Canlii remarks. Uarharossa. with a very limiled patrimony, became very powerful, 
while Francis II., with an e.xlensive Inheritance, could not gain the empire. 


and front of this victory." In this unmitigated nonseiise, 
one cannot tell which to admire the most, the logic or the 
falsehood. The logic is as sound as would be that of a 
Frenchman who would claim a French empire over these 
United States because very many French regiments (not a 
few cohorts) fought for our independence. The assertion 
is false, for Appianus of Alexandria (1) and Dion Cassius 
(2) carefully enumerate the peoples represented in Csesar's 
army at Pharsalia, and while mentioning Italians, Gauls, 
and Spaniards, say nothing of Germans. Appianus says 
that Csesar placed his great reliance upon the Italian 
troops, and Otesar testifies (3) that he relied upon certain 
three cohorts, and had foreseen their value in the battle ; 
comparing, therefore, Appianus and Caesar, we would con- 
clude that the decisive stroke at Pharsalia was made by 
Italian valor. Again, Caesar, the abbreviator of Livy, 
Plutarch, Paterculus, Lucan, Trauquillus, Eutropius, Oro- 
sius, and many other ancient writers, who carefully treat of 
the celebrated campaign against Pompey, make no mention 
of the Illyrian's Germans (4). We only introduce this ridic- 
ulous item that the reader may conceive some fair idea of 
the calibre of this chief of the Cejturiators of Magdeburg. 
With the same purpose we quote the brilliant argument 
with which he would ascrii e the foundation of the German 
empire to Arminius : " Under Augustus, the Germans cap- 
tured two eagles from the Eomans, in a most just war. 
Among other historians, the same Lucius Floras says : 
' The army being destroyed, the Germans took two eagles 
from the Eomans, and yet retain them.' These insignia, 
obtained by valor and by right of war, the German empire 
yet uses in protestation and defense of its right against all 

adversaries When, therefore, the Roman priest 

and other rivals of the empire wish to know its origin and 
right, let them contemplate that glorious ensign of the 
double-headed eagle." Bellarraine has the patience to ex- 
amine this effusion at some length, but we will simply ob- 
serve that Flaccius himself, in another place, (5) ascribes 

(1) Civil Wm\l). ii. (3) Civil War, h. Hi. 

(2) Histories, h. xlv. (4), Ioc. cit. 

(5) Cent, ix., c. IC 


the origin of the double-headed eagle to the empire having 
been divided into the Eastern and Western. 

Alexandre asserts that, long before the coronation of 
Charles, the Romans had sworn allegiance to him. That 
the Romans promised fidelity to Charles in his capacity of 
Roman Patrician or Defender of the Roman Church, just 
as Stephen V. caused them to swear fidelity to Louis the 
Pious, is true. But it is false that by this oath tlie Romans 
recognized Charles as their sovereign. From the year 754, 
as we have seen, when treating of the origin of the Pontiffs' 
temporal dominion, the Popes were <h jure, as they Ijad 
long been de facto, kings of Rome and its territories. In 
the treaty or pactiorns foedus made by Pepin with Pope 
Stephen III. at Quiercy, that monarch ackuowdedged the 
high dominion of the Holy See over the Papal States, " no 
jMiver being reserved, within (he same limits, to us and to our 
successors, unless only that we may gain prayers and the rppose 
if our soul, and that by you and your people ive be stylM Patri- 
cian OF the ROMANS." This Patriciate, which was afterwards 
accorded to Charles, constituted the titular a defender of 
the Roman Church, but implied no supreme authority in 
the dominions of the Pontiff. Mabillon (1) gives us the 
formula according to which princes were accustomed to 
create Patricians : " We give thee this honor that thou 
mayest render justice to the churches of God and to the 
poor, and give an account thereof to the Most High Judge." 
Then, says the formula, the emperor (or other sovereign) 
puts a mantle upon the elect, and places a ring on his right 
fore-finger, and a golden circlet on his brow, and dismisses 
him. This formula certainly indicates no other power than 
that of Defender. That the Patriciate implied no other 
power, and that the oath taken by the Romans to Charle- 
magne regarded fidelity to him in his capacity of Defender, 
and did not imply in him any authority superior to that of 
the Pontiff, may be also gathered from the epistle sent tc 
Leo III. by Charles, after the death of Adrian I., and from 
the course afterwards pursued by Leo. Sending Angilbert 
to Rome, Charles writes to the Pope that he had communi- 

(1) Ucncd. Ann., h. xlil., n. 2. 


cated to that ambassador " all that will seem necessary to 
you or to us, in order that, after consultation, you may 
determine what will be best for the exaltation of the holy 
Church of God, or for the stability of your honor, or for 
the firmness of our Patriciate. For, just as I made a com- 
pact with the predecessor of your Paternity, so I wish to 
establish with your Blessedness an inviolable agreement of 
the same faith and charity, so that the apostolic benediction 
•of the holy advocates of your Apostolic See, God's grace 
givino-it, may everywhere follow me, and that the most holy 
Koman See, God granting, may be ever defended by our 
devotion. It is for us, with the aid of the divine piety, to 
everywhere protect the Holv Church of Christ from Pagan 
incursions, and to defend it with arms from the devastation 
•of infidels." Egiuliard tells us, in his Aaiials, that then 
•" through his legates Leo sent to the king the keys of the 
•Confession of St. Peter (1) and the banner of the Roman 
city, with other gifts, and he asked him to send one of his 
chief nobles to Eome, who would bind the Roman people 
by oath to fidelity and subjection to him. For this purpose, 
was sent Angilbert, abbot of the monastery of St. Eicher- 
ius." Speaking of this correspondence, Pagi justly ob- 
serves : " Charles obtained what he wanted from the Pontiff, 
namely, the confirmation of his Patriciate, and the title of 
Defender of the Roman Church ; not, however, the dominion 
of the city, which he did not seek, and about which there 
had been no question in the agreements with Adrian." (2) 
With reference to the oath of fidelity to king Charles, 
Flaccius says : " All historians, even the most favorable to 
the Popes, testify that Leo, immediately after his election, 
sent to Charles a legation with the keys of St. Peter, which 
are the Papal insignia, and the banners of the city, with 
eagles ; and that he requested, according to the Synod of 
Adrian, his own confirmation, and that some one should be 
sent to bind the Romans to Charles by oath. This was a 
sign of extreme subjection. And when a dissension arose 

(1) Tbe meaning "* this is that the kevs had been laid upon the tomb of the Apnstl-s. 
On several occasion* of emergency, the Popes performed this ceremony when praying for 
.assistance to the great ones of the earth. Episf- Gre;/., b. vi., n. -^3. 

(2) See Gentili's Orxi/in of the PatricUxm, and Bianchi's Power mm Poiicu oj the 



between the Pope and the Romans, the Pope fled to Caesar 
as to his superior ; then also the Eomans sent their accus- 
ers, so that both parties testified that he was their 
legitimate judge and lord. How despicable therefore is the 
vanity ol these Papists who pretend that the slaves and 
chattels of Charles transferred the Roman empire to the 
same Charles, and that they feudally bound him as a vassal 
to themselves, so that now they compel the Caesars to fealty, 
and even force them to most foul kisses of their feet." In 
another place (1), however, the same polite Illyrian says 
that Leo asked Charles to send some one to Rome to bind 
the Romans to allegiance, not to Charles, hut to Leo himself. 
Then it was that, without the knowledge of the Senate, Leo 
sent to Charles the keys (the Papal insignia) and the eagle 
(the Roman imperial insignia), and when afterwards 
Angilbert came to Rome, he compelled the Romans to 
swear fidelity to Leo. (2) There was every reason why 
the Romans should jDromise allegiance to their Pontifi"; 
there was none for such a promise to Charles. How could 
the Frank king exact or receive such an oath, unless he was 
prepared to violate the pact of Quiercy, whereby Pepin 
swore, for himself and successors, to claim no jurisdiction 
in the Papal dominions, but to be more tlian content with 
the style of Patrician ? But, says the ingenious and in- 
genuous Flaccius, "A dissension having arisen betw^een 
the Pope and the Romans, both appealed to Charles as 
their lord and judge." These two terms are found in no 
Annals of the time, as applied, even implicitly, by the Pope 
to Charles ; but the royal Chronicler, Otho of Frisingen, (3) 
who was well versed in the history and spirit of the empire, 
says that Charles came to Rome, after the terrible con- 
spiracy of 799, not to judge Leo, but to punish the male- 
factors ; that Leo w^as judged by no one, but purged of 
imputed crime by his own oath. 

We will not attempt to prove that Charlemagne did not 
receive the empire directly from God, or by hereditary 
right, or by donation from the Greeks ; the curious reader 
may consult Bellarmine, who spends much time in evincing 

U) CeiJ*. vUl., c. 10. (2) Annals of the Fmnhs. (3) B. v., c. sa 


eachof these points. But we will proceed to consider the 
theory of Bossuet, according to which the Holy Roman 
empire owed its origin to the Senate and People of Rome. 
Sigebert, Blondus, Lupoid, xEneas, Vincent of Beauvais, 
and Onofrio Panvini, are adduced in support of this asser- 
tion. Sigebert lived three hundred years, the other cited 
authors from five to seven hundred years, after Charle- 
magne ; their testimony, therefore, is not so conclusive as 
that of the contemporary writers whom we have already 
quoted in defense of our own position. But these six 
authors prove nothing against us. Sigebert and his fol- 
lower, Vincent of Beauvais, attribute to the Roman people 
no other part than that of applause, in the coronation of 
Charles. Blondus merely asserts that the Romans prayed 
Leo to make Charles emperor. Lupoid simply repeats the 
words of Vincent and Sigebert, but he also says : " Pope 
Leo, having considered all the good and worthy reasons for 
the transfer of the empire from the Constantinopolitan em- 
perors to the Prankish kings, .... the Romans acclaiming 
and requesting, anointed and crowned Charles as emperor 
and Augustus, by which anointing and coronation the said 
transfer was made." (1) And Lupoid denies what he is 
alleged to believe, for, speaking of the opinion of some 
who said that the Roman people could make laws for the 
empire, and even transfer it, he says (2) : " This answer, 
saving a better judgment, does not please me. For at the 
time of the said transfer, and even for a long period before 
it, the empire was not with the Romans, but rather with 
the Greeks ; nor is it to-day with the Romans, but with the 
Germans. There is no reason, therefore, why the Roman 
people, at the time of the transfer, should have had, or 
why they should now have, a greater right to transfer the 
empire than any other people possess." As for ^neas 
Sylvius, we have already seen, in the epistle which he 
wrote, as Pope Pius IL, to the Sultan Mohammed IL, that 
he held that his predecessors had transferred the empire 
to the Franks. Onofrio alone then, who lived seven hun- 
dred years after Charlemagne, can be adduced in support 

(1) RiQhts of the Empire, c. 4. (2) Ibid., c 12. 


of the theory that the Eoman Senate and people transfered 
the empire to the Franks. But, as Roncaglia, after Bellar- 
mine, well observes, the Roman Senate and People very 
seldom indeed conferred the imperinl dignity ; the Cnesars 
nearly always were elevated, either by succession, by the 
reigning emperor, or by the soldiery. It is not likely that, 
at a time when the S. P. Q. R. were less than a shadow, 
they would have dared to elect an emperor, or that the 
world would have more than smiled at the puerility (1). 
The following passage from a letter (2), written by Louis 
II., great-grandson of Charlemagne, to Basil the Macedo- 
ian, who had complained because Louis was styled emperor, 
not of the Franks, but of the Romans, will farther illus- 
trate our subject : " Your Fraternity is surprised because 
we are called emperor of the Romans, and not of the 
Franks. But you ought to know that, unless we were em- 
peror of the Romans, we could not be emperor of tho 
Franks. We received this title and dignity from the 
Romans, for the Prankish princes were at first kings, and 
afterward these only were styled emperors who had been 
anointed with the holy oil, by the Roman Pontifi', to that 
end ... .If you blame the Pope for his action, you must 
also blame Samuel, who rejected Saul, whom he liad 
anointed, and hesitated not to consecrate David as king." 



The story of the female Pope constitutes one of the most 
delicious morsels ever offered for the delectation of tho 
credulous children of Protestantism. The Centuriators of 

n) Onofrio names only three emperors as chosen by the senate, viz., Nerva. Maxinuis 

with Ballilnus, ami Taoitus. As to Nerva. Onofrio cites Dion Cassius in pi-onf. Init Dion 
says no Mii-li itiinir. Aureliiis Victor, in soineof liis ciidices, says Itiat Nitmi wms i)ro- 
claliried by tlic aiiiiv, and I^iitropins iiscijl>es his I'levaticin to tlie jircfect of tlie I'nei'irimn. 
As for Maxiiiiiis atiil Uiilliiiiiis, elected indeed liy the senate, airairist the will nf ilie troops, 
the soldiers derisively called them "seiiatorinl emperors, " siiys llerinhan. I', s. iin<i put 
them to death. Tacitus was chosen )iy Ilie senate, liiit hei'anse the soldieis called fur liiiu. 
So neci^ssary was it. in fact, for the election of an emperor to tie acceptatile to tlte army, 
that St. .leronie, in his cpiisl. S^yto EvagHm, ssiya that the troops made the soverelKD- 

UKI.I.ARMINK, /or C|7. 

r-l) HAKOMo ; )/((()• 871. 


Magdeburg thought that such a disgraceful episode ought 
to convince the worki that God wished to show that Rome 
had forfeited her rights (1) ; that, in the words of Calvin 
(2), the Pope was no longer a bishop. Among other notable 
Protestant authors who insist that the Popess was a reality, 
we may mention Spanheim, Lenfant, and Desvignolles. (3). 
But many Protestants of celebrity advise the rejection of 
the fable ; e. g., Blondel (4), Leibnitz. Bayle, Casaubon, 
Jurieu, Basnage, Burnet, and Cave, ^neas Sylvius (5) 
seems to have been the first Catholic polemic to undertake 
A refutation of this story. The task was also assumed by 
Florimond de Remond (6), Onofrio Panvini (7), Papire 
Masson(8), Bini (9), A-ubert Mirseus (10). Leo Allatius (11), 
Labbe (12), Bellarmine (13), Baronio (14), Parsons (15), Alex- 
andre (16), and many others cited by Labbe (17). 

Who was the first to publish to the world the story of 
-the female Pope? Anastasius the Librarian, triumphantly 
reply the friends of the fable — Anastasius, an officer of the 
Papal court, and a contemporary of the Popess. But it is 
very strange that this contemporary, a resident of the 
Papal palace, should introduce so extraordinary a narrative 
with an on dit ; we would suppose that such a Avitness 
M'ould be able to speak of what he himself had seen and 
heard. But the fact is, Anastasius does not speak of the 
female pope. The Protestant Bayle thus deals with this 
alleged testimony : " If we were to find that one and the 
same manuscript informed us that the emperor Ferdinand 
II. died in 1637, and that he was immediately succeeded by 

(1) Cent. IX. c, 20. 

(21 ImtiL, b. iv., c. 7, § 2.3. 

(3) Mosheiin does uot defend the truth of the story, but he asserts that '* during five 
centuries there are six hundred testhnonies to this extraordinary event ; and until the 
Lutheran Reformation, no one deemed the story incredible, or ignoniinious for the Church " 
Cent. IX., p. -i. c. 2. 

(4) I)ive^tUiationnf thequestkDiwhethei-auuwian sat on the Papal throne between 
the reUjns nf Leo IV. and Benedict III. (Amsterdam, 1649.) 

(5) Eiji.ii. 130. to Cardinal Carvajal, dated Aug. 2, 1451. 

(6) Refutatin)i of the Poymlar Error concernhig the Popess Joa/n, c. iii., no. 4. 

(7) Notes to Platina's Lives of t}>e Pontiff)*. 

(8) Bishops of the Citijof Rome. 

(9) Notes to Cfruncils.— Lives of Leo IV. and Benedict III. 

(10) Notes U) SigeheH. 

(11) Refutation of the Fable of the Popess Joan. 

(12) Cenotaph, etc. 

(13) Rom. Pon., b. iii., c. 24. 

(14) Annals, y. 853. 

(15) TJtrec Conversions of England, p. ii. c 5. 

(16) Cent. IX., dis.s. 3. 

(17) Eccl. IVriters. vol. i., p. 837 (Paris, 1664). 


Feidiiianil TIL, but that, nevertheless, Charles VI. succeedecli 
Ferclinand II., and reigned for more than two years, afrer 
which Ferdinand III. was chosen emperor, we wouhl insist 
that one and the same writer could not have penned all this- 
— that copyists must have injudiciously joined things 
written by different persons. Only a crazy or a drunken 
man would tell us that on the death of Innocent X. he was 
at once succeeded by Alexander VII., and that Innocent XI. 
became Pope immediately after Innocent X., reigning more 
than two years, and being succeeded by Alexander VII. 
Yet such is the absurdity of which Anastasius the Libra- 
rian would have been guilty, had he written what is found- 
concerning the Popess in some of the MSS. of his work. 
We must conclude, therefore, that another hand than his- 
added the passages concerning this woman " (1). 

The Centuriators of Magdeburg adduce Marianus Scotus 
(d. 1086) as an authority for the story of Joan. At the 
year 853, they assert, this author says : " Pope Leo died 
on the Calends of August, and he was succeeded by the 
woman Joan, who reigned during two years, five months,, 
and four days." But, we ask, did Marianus really make 
this assertion ? If he made it, is his authority of sufficient 
force to nullify the arguments which, as we shall see, mili- 
tate against the fable ? It is bv no means certain that the 
quoted testimony is from the pen of Marianus Scotus. 
According to the editor of Krantz's Mdropolxs (Cologne, 
1574:), the best codices of Marianus do not contain this 
passage (2) ; and the learned Benedict XIV. advances most 
stringent reasons for his belief that the passage is an 
interpolation (3). Again, it is very curious, if not sus- 
picious, that only the modern propagators of this tale 
adduce the authority of the Irish chronologist ; indeed, 
down to Martin the Pole, who wrote two centuries after 
Marianus, all historians make Benedict III. the immediate 

(1) Dictionnru, art. Foitfss Jonv. 

(2) Leo AUatiiis observes thiit the Frankfort printers carefully otnittKd this note of the 
editor ;—Floriiiioii(l de Reuiond (d. I'iOO). writinir <>n the suippo>ed testimony of Mariiuius, 
says; " Clironolofj ies are special viclitiis of the martrinal notes of Ilieir readers; since 
there are in them, quite fre(|uently. liundreds of omissions, tliese are supitiied by tlie first 
comer, and often he makes trreai l)hinders. Do not we ourselves connnent. apain and 
aRain. on the Chronoli itries of the Ie,n-ne(l I'ontac anil (it'-nt'-brard. because of their omissions 
or fancied defects? If one of these annotated Mss. slmuld fall into the hands of a primer, 
howeasilyhe would accredit the work of thcKlossarist to the author."— /..dc. ciL, c. 5, no. 3. 

(3> Canotuzation, h. Hi., c. 10, no. 3. 


successor of Leo. lY., thus leaving no room for the female 
who is said to have reigned " two years, five months, and 
four days ; " which certainly shows that they were unac- 
quainted with the passage of Marianus. But of what 
authority is Marianus ? His frequent blunders should 
cause us to hesitate in accepting his unsupported assertions ; 
still more care should we exercise ere we receive as true 
such things as become dubious under light from other 
sources. Alexandre gives many instances of anachronisms 
on the part of Marianus, but we shall notice only one, which 
is in connection with the present question. In the year 854, 
which, according to the quoted passage, ouglit to be the 
second of the Popess. Leo IV. founded the city of Leopolis, 
twelve miles from Centum Cella3. In the following year, 
the emperor Louis visited Pope Leo IV. at Eome, and the 
Pope died soon after, on the 16th Calends of August. 
The entire period, therefore, which Marianus is said to 
assign for the Pontificate of Joan, was spent by Leo IV. in 
the Papal chair (1). The third argument in favor of the 
existence of the Popess is taken from Martin the Pole, 
penitentiary to Pope Nicholas III. This author died in 
1270, that is, a hundred and eighty-four years after the 
death of Marianus, and four hundred and twenty-five years 
after the election of Benedict III. He is said to tell us 
that Joan was English by birth, but of German origin ; that, 
during a solemn procession, she gave birth, when mid-way 
between St. Clement's and the Colosseum, to a child ; that 
ever after the Pontifts always went to the Lateran by 
another street, because of this hideous memory. St. Anto- 
nine, archbishop of Florence, praises the ChromcJe of 
Martin, and says (2) : "After this Leo, Martin put in his 
Chronicle Joan, by birth an Englishman, who sat in the 
chair of Peter two years, five months, and six days, and at 
his death, the Papacy was vacant for one month. This 
Pontiff, says Martin, is reported to have been a woman, 
who, when yet a young girl, was taken to Athens in male 
attire, by her lover ; there she made such progress in learn- 
ing, that her equal was not to be found, and w^hen she 

(1) ANASTASius the Librarian, Life of Leo TV. 
(i) Chronicles, p. ii.. *>t. IG, c- 1, § 6. 


afterwards lectured at Eome, she had great professors 
among her disciples. Being of great repute in the city, for 
both science and integrit}^ she was made Pope after Leo, 
but became pregnant by a servant. Ignoring the time of 
her delivery, she was one day going from St. Peter's to the 
Lateraii, when she was taken in labor between St. Clement's 
and the Colosseum, and was delivered in the street. Dying 
in the child-birth, she is said to have been buiied on the 
spot. As the Pope, in going to the Lateran, always avoids 
this street, many say that it is because of this detestable 
thing. (This Pontiff) is not put in the Catalogue, on account 
of the sex " 

So far as St. Antonine is concerned, he shows that 
he places no confidence in the story, for he says : " If 
the report is true, we may cry out with Paul, ' O the 
depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God ; 
how incomprehensible are his judgm>^nts ! ' It is said that a 
monumental sculpture was erected in the street where this 
took place, but Yinceut, in his Hisforical Mirror, and John 
Colonna, say nothing about it." As for the testimony of 
Martin the Pole, we must observe, first, that he merely 
gives a rumor, and that he writes four centuries after the 
supposed event. Again, is it certain that Martin was the 
author of the alleged testimony? Siiffrid, who caused Mar- 
tin's Chronicle to be printed, at Antwerp, in 1584, observed 
that it had been greatly interpolated, and he also noted 
that the various codices greatly differed, and that in the 
Tono-erlcensian MS. the narration about Joan is put in an 
appendix, not in the body of the work. But the very words 
of the story, as said to have been written by Martin the 
Pole, betray the hand of an interpolator, and manifest an 
ignorance which renders the whole narration unreliable as 
evidence. Joan is said to have been taken, when yet a girl, 
to the schools of Athens, and to have there acquired a 
great reputation. Now. where were the famous schools of 
Athens, in the ninth century? What was the conilition of 
Athens ? As far back as the year 420, Synesius of Ptole- 
maide wrote (1) : " There is now nothing splendid \n 

(1) iSpi«f Ic 35. 


Athens bat the celebrated names of places, just as, after a 
sacrifice, nothing remains of the victim but its skin. 
Wandering around, you may gaze upon the Academy and 
the Lyceum, and the Portico which gave name to the sect 
of Chrysippus. The proconsuls have taken away the artis- 
tic productions of Thasius. In our day, Egypt teaches, she 
who received the seeds of wisdom from Hypatia. Athens 
was once a city, the home of learned men ; now it is occu- 
pied only by apiarists." The schools of Athens were 
afterwards, to some extent, revived, but not during the 
supposed student-life of Joan. Cedrenus and Zonaras 
inform us that the emperor Michael III., after he had re- 
moved his mother Theodora from the government, allowed 
the C«sar Bardas to restore the Athenian gymnasia, but 
Theodora was not relegated to private life until 856, while 
Joan is said to have died in that year. Equally absurd is 
the statement that Joan's talents caused her, a stranger, to 
be chosen Pontiff. It is certain that for many centuries the 
custom had obtained of raising to the papacy only a priest 
or deacon of the Roman Church, one trained, as it were, in 
view of such a contingency. A departure from this rule 
would scarcely have been made without grave reasons, and 
none such could be conjectured as subsisting in the case 
of Joan. Ridiculous indeed is the assertion that the sup- 
posed Pontiff gave birth to a child during a solemn relig- 
ious function. If it can be believed that stupidity was so 
rampant, so universal, in the Roman court, that the sex and 
condition of this person could so long remain hidden, 
exposed, as every Pontiff must necessarily be, to the scru- 
tiny of prelates, ministers, courtiers, physicians, chamber- 
lains, and servants, we cannot believe that so successful an 
impostor, and so arrant a knave, would have possessed so 
much asininity of mind as to subject herself, at such a time, 
to the risks of a processional walk from the Vatican to the 
Lateran. Again, in this very mention of the procession to 
the Lateran, the interpolator of Martin's Chronicle betrays 
himself. He says that the Pontiffs avoid the street that was 
fatal to Joan, when they proceed to the Lateran. It is cer- 
tain that the Popes did not commence to inhabit the Yati- 


can before the reign of Boniface IX., Avho mounted the 
throne in 1389. (1) 

The friends of this fable also adduce the testimony of 
Baptist Piatina (d. 1481i, who, having given the story al- 
most in the supposed words of Martin, whom he cites, says 
that "there are those who say that, to avoid a similar 
error," the junior deacon investigates the sex of the newly 
elected Pontiff (2). Piatina also speaks of a ceremony in 
which the new Pontiff is seated in a chair, " according to 
some," for this purpose, but says that it is his belief, how- 
ever, "that the seat is prepared, that he who is raised to 
so eminent a position may know that he is not God, but 
a man, and subject to the necessities of nature ; whence 
the name of stercoraria is given to the seat." To this argu- 
ment, we may allow Piatina himself to reply : " What I have 
written is commonly rumored, but the authors are uncertain 
and obscure ; I have given the reports briefly and simply, 
lest I might seem to obstinately omit that which nearly all 
affirm. Let us then, in this matter, err with the crowd.'' 
These words do not imply any great faith in the story of 
Joan. As for the chair, M'hich some think so eloquent, Bel- 
larmine (3) thus explains the matter : " We know from the 
Sacred Ceremonies, b. i., sect. 2, that in the Lateran Basilica 
there were three stone seats on which the new Pontiff was 
placed at his coronation. The first was in front of the en- 
trance to the Church, and was common and miserable : in 
this the Pontiff was seated a short time, to sisnifv that he 
was about to leave a humble for an exalted station, and 
then was sung from Kings, B. I., c. 2 .• ' He raiseth up the 
needy from the dust, and lifteth up the poor from the 
dunghill; that he may sit with princes, and hold the 
throne ofglorj-.' And for this reason that seat is called 
stercoraria. The second seat was of prophecy, and was in 
the palace itself, and the Pontiff was placed thereon, in 
sign of his taking possession ; there he received the keys 
of the Lateran palace. The third seat was not far from 

Ml OxoFRio Panvixi, Titc .'^ivo) nniir)ifii. 

{%) " I'.iiimicnii ij SI.//I iIkiii iniiiii) in Scde Peti'i coUncatur, ad cam rem )*«)- 

forata, uniitiilia nh )tlt imo (Uarii)iii(itini'tari. 
Ci) I'outi '. //. ill., c -M. 


the second, and was similar to it ; when he was seated 
here, he returned the keys to the giver, probably that, by 
such ceremony, he might be reminded of death, which 
would soon give his power to another. Of a seat for the 
investigation of sex, there is no mention whatever." (1) 

Sigebert of Gemblours (2) furnishes another argument 
to the propagators of this tale. In his Cliroiiicle he is said 
to assert : " It is reported that this John was a woman, 
that she was known by one alone of her servants, and that, 
having conceived by him during her Pontificate, she was 
delivered. Some, therefore, do not number her among 
the Pontiffs." Again we are treated to a " report," but 
•even this shadow of an argument is of doubtful authentici- 
ty. In the MS. of Gamblours, edited by Mirseus, the 
quoted passage is wanting. Vincent of Beauvais (3), who, 
in treating of this period, transcribes Sigebert's text, word 
xor word, does not give the slightest reference to any 
female Pontiff. Again, the quoted words do not tally with 
the following statement of Sigebert : '' Benedict (III.) was 
the 102d Pontiff of the Eoman Church. Being dethroned 
by a conspiracy of the wicked, the Papacy was invaded by 
Anastasius ; but Anastasius was deposed by the legates of 
the emperor Lothair, and put in prison, while Benedict 
was honorably restored." We shall prove that Benedict 
III. succeeded Leo IV. in 855, in a few days after the lat- 
ter's death. According to Sigebert therefore, as our 
adversaries would understand him, either Joan was Pope 
at the same time as Benedict III., or her reign must be 
accounted for by deducting more than two years from 
that of Leo IV. Sigebert, however, assigns eight years to 
Leo IV. (4). 

(1) Blondel says tbatthis ceremony was abolished at the accession of Innocent VIH. 

(2) Sigebert, a monk of Gemblours, was a contemporary of Gregory VII., and died in 1112. 
He was a bitter enemy of this Pontiff, and hesitates not to lie, whenever his zeal for the 
Imperial interests is excited. His Chronicle extends to 1111, and was continued by Robenus 
de Monte down to 1210. Among his writings are two books on lUustrioiui Men, in which 
company he ranks himself, and gives a detailed account of his works. 

(3) Vincent, bishop of Beauvais, a Dominican friar, died in 1250. His HMorical Mirror 
treats of events down to 1244. It was continued by an unknown author down to 1494. 

i4) Alanus Copus tells us Molanus assured him that he had read the Ms. of Gemblours, 
and that it contained nothing concerning the Popess. He was certain, he added, that, if 
this Ms. was not the original of Sijirehert's work, it was at least a copy of that original. 
Dialoijiies, I, c. 8. (Antwerp, 157.3).— The Protestant Spanheim admits that the passage of 
Piseberi, as found in the Paris edition of I5i:i is a parenthesis which can be cut o\it with- 
out entailing any injury on the narrative or the author's chronological calculations. 
He also avows that the questioned passage does not occur in the Ms. of Leyden, which 
bears the date of 1154. llie Female Pope, p. 52. 


Proof for the existence of the Popes^s is also sought in a. 
certain statue, representing a woman and infant, which was 
erected in memory of this fatal event, sa}* our credulous 
adversaries, and was finally thrown by some Pontiff into 
the Tiber. Is it likely that the Popes would have allowed 
the erection of a memorial, to perpetuate the remembrance 
of so disgraceful an event? But the fact is, there was once 
a marble group, of evident antiquity, in the very street 
leading to the Lateran, and it was removed by Sixtus V. 
(1585-90), when that street, like many others, was widened 
and straightened. But in that group the most vivid imag- 
ination could find no indication of a design to represent 
the female Pontiff. It represented two persons indeed, but 
not a woman and infant; one figure was that of a man, 
thought by antiquaries to be of a Pagan priest, preceded 
by a well-grown boy, probably his attendant minister. (1)., 
But there was once a statue of the Popess in a church at 
Sienna, and it was removed by order of Pope Clement 
YIII. (1592-1605), as we are informed by Baronio (2), Avho 
was the intermediary between the Pontiff and the Grand 
Duke on the occasion. The existence of this statue may 
show the prejudices or ignorance of the Siennese. but as a 
positive argument it is valueless in the face of the many 
contrary and more weighty reasons which militate against 
the fable. 

Having examined the arguments adduced by the propa- 
gators of this story, we now proceed to show, by the testi- 
mony of contemporary and closely following authors, that 
Pope Benedict III. immediately succeeded to Leo IV., and 
that hence the two years nnd more of Pontificate, on the 
part of Joan, are an impossibility. Lupus, abbot of Ferri- 
eres, writing to Benedict III. (3), praises the virtues of his 
predecessor Leo, and hoj)es that they will be imitated by 

(^) In his Tn}>Jr Talk, Luther says : " In a ffreat street, that which leads (o St. Peter's, 1 
have seen witli my own eves Ilie statue (if a woman, clothed with tlie Papal insignia, and 

hnldlnsr a child in her arms. Tlie Pope never troes l)vthat way It is of Ihat Atrnes. 

liorn ar Muyence, sent to Kiij/land as cardinal, thereafter recalled to Home, crowned Pope, 
as successor to Leo 1\'., iti s.')7, ati<l <lelivercd of a child in the street in wliicli tier iinaire is 
erected ..... Truly, I am astonislied that the Popes allow it to reniaiu ; but It Is the^e as 
a miracle of God, who strikes them with blindness." 

ci) KirMle to Florimond de Hemomi, Riven by this author in his Fahlt (if the Popass 
Jixnu c. 2i. 

C\) rvMlr. 103. 


the new Pontiff. Here there is no suspicion of an inter- 
vening Popess. Ado of Vienne (d. 875) writes of the em- 
peror Lothair: (1) "Resigning his temporal kingdom, be 
entered the monastery of Prumia ; having taken the ton- 
sure, and become a monk, he died in the year of our Lord 
855, and the thirty-third of Lis empire, being there rever- 
ently buried by the brethren .... The Roman Pontiff 
Gregory died, and Sergius was ordained his successor ; he 
having departed, Leo succeeded ; this Pope dying, Bene- 
dict was placed in the Apostolic See, Lothair being already 

dead Pope Nicholas, a most religious man, died, 

and was buried in the vestibule of St Peter's, not far from 
the remains of Benedict. Now Adrian succeeded in the 
order of bishops." Thus we learn from Ado that Leo IV. 
was succeeded by Benedict IIL, just after the death of 
Lotbair, and we know that this death occurred on Septem- 
ber 28, 855 To Benedict succeeded Nicholas, to Nicholas 
Adrian ; where then was there room for Joan ? Anastasius 
the Librarian informs us that Leo IV^. died on July 17, 855, 
and that Benedict III. was installed on Sept. 29th of tbe 
same year. Where then are the two years of Joan ? Hinc- 
mar of Rheims tells us (2) that he had sent messengers to 
Pope Leo IV., to beg for a certain privilege, and that, while 
on the way, they heard of that Pontiff's death, but never- 
theless proceeded to Rome, and obtained the boon from tbe 
new Pope, Benedict III. Here again we find no interval for 
Joan's two years of Pontificate. Before the news of Lothair '& 
death reached Rome, as we gather from the document itself. 
Pope Benedict III. issued a Diploma granting certain priv- 
ileges to the monastery of Corbie. (3). As Lothair had died 
two months and twelve days after Leo IV., and this docu- 
ment speaks of him as yet living, it follows that Benedict 
succeeded Leo, at the furthest, in three months from the 
latter's death. Joan's two years of reign are again missing- 
Pope Nicholas I., immediate successor of Benedict III., 

(1) Chrnnicle, y- 85.5. 

ci) This Diploma besrlns : " Benedict, Bishoj), Servant of tlie Servants of God, etc. Writ- 
ten by t!ie hand of Theodore. Notary and Archivist of Holy Roman Church, in the month 
of October, -1th Indiction. Perfected on the Nones of October, by the hand of Theophylactiis. 
seal-bearer of the .\;^osti'i;c See, :n the re^^;i of Lothair. etc " 


writes : (1) " Leo, Pontiff of the Apostolic Sl'3, who knew 
the desire of Hiucmar, was taken from this life ; and when 
that Apostolic man, Benedict, of holy memory, had suc- 
ceeded him in the Pontificate, the reverend Hincmar again 
prepared his arms, etc." There was therefore no Popess 
between Leo and Benedict. Photius, the father of the 
Greek Schism, a most bitter enemy of the Eoman See, and 
yet a most learned man, would not have omitted to make 
capital out of the career of the Popess Joan, winding up, 
as it is asserted to have done, with so extraordinary a 
termination, had he known of it. Such an event could not 
have escaped his knowledge, for at the time it is said to 
have hajjpened, Photius was secretary of state to the em- 
j)eror Michael III. Now this learned, cunning, and vindic- 
tive schismatic, in a book written by him when his bitterness 
against Eome was fully developed, (2) distinctly enumerates 
the successors of Leo IV., down to that da}-, Benedict, 
Nicholas, John, and Adrian, without a hint of so acceptable 
an interregnum as that of a Joan would have been to his 
rebellious heart. Metrophaues of Smyrna, scarcely less 
bitter than Photius in his hatred of Rome, bears the same 
testimony. (3). The same is given by Styliauus. bishop of 
the Euphratesian Neo-Caesarea, in the E])istle sent to Pope 
Stephen VL by him and the confederated Catholic bishops 
of the East. In the first year of the Pontificate of Pope 
Formosus (891), Photius having been finally deposed, and 
peace been restored, for a time, to the Eastern Church, 
there was affixed to tlie main entrance of St. Sophia's ba- 
silica a Breviary or Synopsis of the Eighth General Council, 
in which the following passage occurs : " Down to tliis day, 
Photius has been opeul}' condemned for forty-five years, 
by Poj)e Leo (and all the Popes) down to Formosus. For 
eleven years he was anathematized, while a secular and a 
la.yman, because he communicated with the excommunicated 
Gregory of Syracuse ; for other thirty-four years, after he 
had received holy orders, he was also anathematized. Popes 

(1) EpiMe 40. 

(2) On the Prnrefixiii)} nf thr llnhi (lUnft. iniiii)ist tlir Latins, h. 1. Wlieu Photius wrote 
this treatise, he had been many years an iiitnidei- in the patriarchal throne of Constantino- 
ple, and was fully and llnally connnitted to ttu' Scliism. 

(3) Divinity and Procession of the HoUl Ghost. 


Leo, Benedict, and Nicholas bad condemned Gregory for 
various reasons. Both because of his other crimes, and 
because he had received orders from Gregory, Photius was 
anathematized by nine Boman Pontiffs, Leo, Benedict, 
Nicholas, Adrian, John, Marinus, the other Adrian, Stephen, 
and Formosus." Here we find the Church of Constantino- 
ple dividing the forty-five years which elapsed between the 
beginning of Leo's reign and that of Formosus among nine 
Pontiffs, whose names are given. "Where will the patrons 
of the fable locate the two years and more of Joan ? (1). 

Pope Leo IX. (1049 — 1051), writing to Michael, patriarch 
of Constantinople, reproached that diocese in a manner 
which he would not have adopted, had he known that his 
own Pontifical chair had been contaminated as some Protes- 
tants would have us believe. His reproach is no other than 
that the clergy of Constantinople had raised a woman to 
the patriarchate : (2) " We would not wish to believe what 
public rumor hesitates not to assert, that the Constantino- 
politan church, ignoring the First Chapter of the Council of 
Nice, has promoted eunuchs to her Patriarchal chair, and 
that once she even placed a woman in it. Even though 
the horror excited by so abominable a crime, so detestable 
a wickedness, did not prevent us, fraternal benevolence 
would cause us to doubt it. Nevertheless, when we consid- 
er your indifference to Canonical censures, in promoting 
eunuchs and mutilated persons, not only to the clerical 
state, but even to the episcopacy, we are of opinion that 
this may have happened." 

(1) We may add the following testimonies as to the immediate succession of Benedict III. 
to Leo IV. the Synod of Tulle, y. 859, writing to the bishops of Brittany. The Roman 
Council of 86.3 (in Muratori, Italian Writers, vol. ii., pt. 2). Two contemporary catalogues 
of the Roman Pontiffs (in the Prokgom. to the Lives of Anastasius, vol. ii.. pts. 18 and :iO, 
edit ^^at.). The AnnaJs of Weinynrten (in the Histt>rical Monuments of Germany, vol. i.). 
The Annals of Wiirzhnrg (ihiil, vol. ii.). A Catalogue of the Pontiffs compiled .n 1C48 (in 
Eccard, Corp. Hist. Mid. Age, vol. ii.). The AnnaJs of Einsiedeln (in Pertz, Monum. Germ. 
Hist-, vol. v). The Chronielc of Hermann Contractus (in Pistorius, German Writers, vol. 
1.'. The Catalogue of Pontiffs to the reign of Honorius II. (in Muratori, loc cit.). A Cliron- 
iele at St. Denis (in Bouquet, Collection of Historians of the Gauls and of France, 
vol. viii. Not one of these works furnishes posterity with any trace of the alleged Popess. 

(2) Bellarmine thinks that perhaps this remark of Leo IX. give rise to the fable of Joan. 
" As there was a rumor that a certain woman had been made patriarch of Constantinople, 
after a while the name of the place was omitted, and people talked of a female "oecumeni- 
cal" patriarch; then some persons, who hated Rome, asserted that the woman had been the 
Pope of Rome; probablv the report (in its new dress) arose about the time of Martin the 
Pole." Roman Pontilf,h. -^ c. 24. This idea is not Incredible, for. as Bellarmine says, 
" the Cer.turistors of Matrdeburg insert more incredible things. Martin only said that this 
woman was an Englishwoman, of Mentz origin, and the Centuriators tell us her name was 
Gilberta ; they say her father was an English priest, and that she was raised as a monk 
at Fiilda, and wote books on magic." Whence this information ? 


Summing up what lias been observed in this matter, we 
have shown, firstly, that Marianus Scotus, who is, according 
to the propagators of the fable of Joan, the first recorder of 
the tale, is not undoubtedly in its favor ; that there is 
good reason to suppose that his works have been interpo- 
lated ; that, granting that he did narrate the story, his 
authority is not great enough to justify us in rejecting, in his 
favor, the many positive arguments which militate against 
the truth of the tale. Secondly, we have seen that the 
Chronicles of Martin the Pole and of Sigebert have been 
certainly vitiated : that St, Antonine and Platina are unfa- 
vorable to the story, and that they simply record it as said 
to have been told by Martin. Thirdly, we have proved 
that the fable cannot be incorporated into history because 
of any reasons deduced from the examination theory, or 
from the existence of certain statues said to have com- 
memorated the disgraceful death of Joan. Fourthly, we 
have shown that the story bears intrinsic marks of its own 
falsity. Fifthly, we have adduced the testimony of contem- 
porary and closely follo\\ing authorities, who all agree 
that the Pontificate of Benedict III. immediately suc- 
ceeded that of Leo IV.. and that therefore, after Leo, there 
could not have been, on the part of Joan. " a reign of two 
years, five montlis, and four days." But it may naturally 
be asked, what could have given rise to this tale of a female 
Pontiff? Erudite men have been able only to conjecture. 
Mosheim, as we have said, admits, in an affectation of im- 
partiality, that the story is certainly not well-founded. But 
he savs it must have owed its origin to some extraordinary 
event which happened about that time , that it is incredible 
that for five succeeding centuries, a number of historians 
should narrate the affair, in almost tlie same language, if it 
was entirelv destitute of foundation. We have seen that 
w]]at he regards as incredible has not occurred. As for this 
''some extraordinary event "which must have happened, ac- 
cording to Mosheim, the reader may rest assured that there 
happened, in the Middle Ages, few, if any such, that were not 
recorded by the indefatigable, though often injudicious, 
chroniclers of the time. The science of criticism was not 


well developed in those days, and the chronicler was 
generally so ambitious for material, that he put into his 
annals whatever he read or heard, historical facts or monas- 
tic gossip. No event, sufficieutl}' " extraordinary" to give 
origin to such a story as that of Joan, would have been 
unacceptable or too prurient for insertion, as experience 
will show the reader, if he gives some time to the perusal 
of these monuments. (1). John Aventinus, (2) derives the 
story of Joan from the career of John IX. (898 — 900). The- 
odora, mother-in-law of Albert, prince of Etruria, who then 
was powerful in Rome, procured the election of this Pontiff, 
and as she always exercised much influence over him, the 
story went around, says Aventinus, that a woman was Pope 
of Kome. Onofrio Panvini (3) thinks that the fable origin- 
ated among the Romans, who detested the vices of John 
XII. (956 — 964), and who styled his mistress Joan the real 
Pontiff of Rome. The opinion of Bellarmine we have 
already given. Baronio (4) deems the easy-going course 
of John VIII. in the matter of Photius the origin of the 
story. Leo Allatius finds its source in the Annals of the 
Franks and the Chronicle of Sigebert, where is described the 
condemnation, in the time of Leo IV., of a certain Thiota 
of Mentz, a pretending prophetess, etc. (5) 

We will close this chapter by citing the opinions of two 
celebrated Protestant polemics, than whom modern heresy 
has produced no more able, or more bitter, foes of the 
Roman Church — Jurieu and Blondel. The former says : 
" I do not think that we are very much interested in evincing 
the truth of this story of the Popess Joan. Even though 
the Papal See had been surprised into accepting for its 
head a woman, believing her to be a man, it would not, in 

(1) "But this is a foible of Protestauts : when there is question of a fact favorable to the 
Roman Church, th6 most convincing proofs will scarcely persuade them; but if there 
comes up an event vvhich is injurious to Catholicisia, the weakest probabilities will engen- 
der their confidence in it : if they dare not affirm it, they must have the consolation of being 
doubtful about it. This disease is common toall incredulists."— Bkrgier, art- PopetisJnnii. 

Ci) AnnaUof Bnvariiuh. 4. 

(■i) N<)ic>< to PlatUia. 

(4) Annals, y. 879. 

(5) In the year 18-15 Bianchi-fiiovini published a Cn7ica? Examination of the Arts (tml 
Documents relating tothe Fahlc nf the Po;je.ssJofln, in which taking up the story from its 
first appe-irance. he carefully weighed all the authorities for and against its truth. Good 

■ critics opine that he so exhausted the subject, and so evidently manifested the absurdity 
-of t'le t lie, thiU no one will ever again presume to seriously adduce it The readei' will 
iflnd much information concerning this question in the Notes of Gennarelli to theeditlon of 
the Dlx' > '>■ Bnr^ liardt, published at Florence, in 1S54. See the part on In)toct i.t Vlll., 
ij). .J ;, n i: ! i 


my opinion, have suffered much. The advantage we might 
draw from such a fact would not compensate us for the 
great trouble we would have to prove it. In fact, I find, 
from the manner in which the tale is narrated, that it gives 
more honor to the Roman See than that See merits. It is 
asserted that this Popess had made excellent studies ; that 
she was learned, able, and eloquent ; that her many gifts 
won for her the admiration of Rome ; that her election was 
unanimous, although she had appeared among the Romans 
an unknown foreigner, without any friends, or any other 
support than her own merit. I contend that much honor 
is given to the Roman See by the supposition that it pro- 
moted an unknown young person, merely because of person- 
al worth." (1) Blondel remarks: "Many have tried to 
redeem the romance of Marianus from the suspicion accru- 
ing to it from the silence of all authors of the two following 
centuries, by supposing that the wi'iters who lived during 
the period from 855 to 1050 refrained from narrating the 
story, because of the shame it heaped upon them. They 
preferred, it is contended, to change the records of the 
Papal succession by an affected silence, rather than to con- 
tribute, by noting an odious truth, to preserve the execrable 
memory of a woman who had dishonored the Holy See. 
But those authors who lived at Rome, such as Nicholas I. 
and Anastasius the Librarian, would have been foolish in- 
deed, if they had deemed it possible, by their silence, to 
bury a disgrace which is supposed to have so astonished,, 
scandalized, and angered the Romans, that they could be 
appeased only by perpetuating their just indignation with 
the erection of a commemorative statue, with an appropriate 
arrangement of their processions, and with the use of hitlier- 
to unknown, and very indelicate, ceremonies." (2) 

(1) Aimhxin for the Refnrmatinn, vol ii., Jurieu aprees witli Fldrimond de RmikhuI, 
vvbeii Iliisaiithor savs (lac. vit., c xi.. no. 5) that " even thoujrli iliis iiiisfdrlinn- liad In-fallen 
the Clinrch, since tiie woman was elevated by deeeit, and by so parading an at>i)areiitly 
lioly life as to blind everybod)', the orinie was hers and not of the electors, who were io 
Rood faith, and cannot be charged with any part in the fraud." 

(2) Loc. cit., p. 78 



The Geeek Schism : Its First Stage under Photius, and 
THE Eighth General Council. 

At the death of the emperor Theophilus, in 841, the By- 
zantine throne was occupied "by the empress Theodora as- 
regent for, and, according to the will of Theophilus, co- 
sovereign with, their son Michael III., then only six years 
of age. Theodora immediately restored the images to the 
churches and ejected the Iconoclast John from the patriar- 
chate. To her sou Michael she assigned as tutors two 
worthy patricians, Manuel and Theoctistus, whose aid 
she also used in the administration of the government. 
During the fourteen years of her reign the empire pros- 
pered greatly, but in the year 855 the intrigues of her 
brother Bardas deprived her of power and started the series 
of events which were destined to ultimately prove the ruin 
of the empire, as well as a serious injury to Christendom. 
Bardas may rightly be called the father of the Greek schism. 
A difference having arisen between Manuel and Theoctis- 
tus, Bardas profited by it to secure his own advancement. 
Manuel foresaw the storm, and retired from the court. 
Theoctistus was not so fortunate. Having rebuked Bardas 
for many crimes, among which was that of incest with his 
daughter-in-law, his death was the consequence of his zeal. 
Bardas soon became all-powerful with the emperor, and as 
Theodora's severe piety and inflexible justice were too great 
a check upon the passions of the youthful prince, he gave 
a ready ear to Bardas' suggestion that she should be rele- 
gated to private life. Fearing even worse than deposition, 
Theodora convoked the Senate, rendered an account of the 
financial state of the empire, lest her administration should 
be calumniated, and abdicated the throne. Not satisfied 
with this, Bardas persuaded Michael to force his mother to 
take the veil, saying that she might otherwise marry again 
and raise a progeny which would some day claim the sceptre. 
The aid of Ignatius, who had succeeded Methodius in the 


patriarchate, was besought in vain ; but Petrouas, another 
brother of the empress, was amenable to Bardas' scheme, 
and he found some wretched ecclesiastic who cut the hair 
of Theodora and her daughters, and invested them all witlj 
the monastic habit. Bardas was now made Curopalates. and 
soon afterwards Csesar. (1). Henceforth he was real master 
of the Byzantine empire, the nominal sovereign passing his 
time in debaucher5^ spending the immense sums which 
the prudence and economy of Theodora liad accumulated. (2) 
Ignatius, wdio at this time was patriarch of Constanti- 
nople, was a son of the emperor Michael Rangabes (811- 
813). Made a eunuch by order of Leo the Armenian 
(813 -820), and confined in a monastery, lest he should claim 
the throne, he voluntarily became a monk, and in time an 
a;bbot. Celebrated for his virtues, he attracted the attention 
of Theodora, and on the death of Methodius, in 847, was 
by her influence raised to the patriarchal chair. Under 
his administration everything prospered, and it was plain 
that the holy Methodius was worthily replaced. But his 
zeal soon made Ignatius obnoxious to Bardas. Enraged 
at the episcopal rebuke for his incest, and convinced, by 
the refusal to violate the canons in the case of Theodora's 
monastic investiture, that Ignatius would never be a mere 
courtier-prelate, the Curopalates compassed his downfall. 
About this time a certain crazy adventurer, named Gebo, 
advanced a claim to the throne, asserting that he was a son 
of Theodora, and quite a number were found to adhere to 
him. When he was captured and deprived of eyes, hands, 
and feet, his followers soon disbanded. Bardas now came 
forward, accusing Ignatius of having been an instigator of 
the conspiracy. The credulous Michael was easily influ- 
enced, and the patriarch was banished to the isle of 
Terebinthus. Here he was waited upon by several of 
Bardas' episcopal and ])atrician friends, and vainly urged 
to resign ]i is see. (3). Several unworthy ]irelates, under the 

(1) TlK^diKiiity of Curopnbttc.i ronvspoiult'd to that of " Master uf llic I'lilaci- " iu the 
West, althiiiitrli in tlie Byzantine court it never was associated witli the real power wliicti 
often accriicd ti» ilie possessni-s of iliat title iiiuler the Menivintrian kinirs. Tiic title of 
( 'ivsir fiave the hearer a rank si'cond only to that of thi' sovereign, and was L'enerallv as- 
■pocialed with so tiiiich of re il power, i hit the C.e-iir was rejfurded us a kind of lieiiienant 
of llie emperor. 

(•'I NicKTAS, ("!• DRKM'.'*. and A N ASTASU s the I.jhrarian. 

<3/ /Jj.-i;. 


leadership of Gregory of Syracuse (1), now held a species 
of synod, pretended to depose Ignatius, and elected as 
patriarch a layman, named Photius, then first secretary of 
state to the emperor. Photius was of a patrician family, a 
grandson of St. Tharasius, and, besides his secretaryship, 
held the post of first Sword-bearer. He was wealthy, 
learned, ambitious, and unscrupulous ; in fine, a ready-made 
instrument for the use of Bardas. In six days the new 
patriarch received the monk's tonsure, the Lectorate, the 
Subdiaconate, Diaconate, Priesthood, and Episcopate. 
These events occurred in the year 857. That most of the 
bishops who voted for Photius were influenced by fear, is 
•evident from the words of his friend, Metrophanes of 
Smyrna, who, writing to the patrician Manuel, said : '' All 
the bishops of the province of Constantinople met together 
and anathematized Photius, declaring him deposed in the 
name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and conspiring 
together, they devoted themselves to eternal pains if they 
ever recognized Photius as patriarch." So long as Ignatius 
lived, Photius was uneasy. Hence he persuaded the 
emperor that the unfortunate patriarch was conspiring 
against the throne, and new persecutions were set afoot, not 
only against Ignatius, but against all who refused to com- 
municate with the intruder. (2). A synod was also held in 
859, in the imperial church of the Blachernal, and the de- 
position of Ignatius was confirmed. A few bishops, not 
lost to all sense of religion, met, in answer to this conclave, 
in the church of St. Irene, and declared Photius an 
intruder, asserting, furthermore, that he had promised, 
when nominated patriarch, to always regard Ignatius as 
the legitimate incumbent, and himself only as a vicar. 
Photius now came to the conclusion that he would never 

(1) Gregory had been tried and convicted for sedition, schism, and other crimes, and 
deposed from his see of Syracuse, by Ignatius, who, as patriarch of Constantinople, was 
his superior, Sicily beinvr at that time in the obedience of the Eastern empire. Isnatius, 
however, requested of Pope Leo IV. a ratification of the procedure, which the Pontiff 
postponed, to give time to Gregory to make a defense. Ignatius afterwards sent to Rome a 
copy of the papers in tfie case, and Pope Benedict III. confirmed the sentence. In spite of 
all this, Gregory retained the insignia of his olBce, thanks to the protection of Bardas. 

(i) Among other torments to which Ignatius was subjected, was his confinement in the 
sepulchre of Coproii/mus, where he would have died froin the stench and from starvation, 
had not a faithful adherent bribed the guards to open the doors. He was often beaten 
nearly to death, and his teeth were knocked from his jaws. Basil, who had been Prefect 
of the Archives under Ignatius, had his tongue cut out, because he used it in defence of his 


enjoy liis new dignity in comfort, unless he could obtain.' 
the sanction of the Eoman Pontiff. Accordingly, he sent 
to Rome a legation composed of two bishops, and Arzabir,. 
the imperial Sword-bearer. Most cunningly did these 
gentlemen fulfil their commission. Having presented to- 
Pope Nicholas some very costly gifts in token of homage- 
from Michael and Photius, they put on the veil of piety,, 
ami begged the Pontiff to send legates to Constantinople, 
in order that, by the authority of the Holy See, ecclesias- 
tical discipline might be strengthened, and a final blow be 
given to Iconoclastism, then threatening to again raise its 
head. In the letters of Photius, the Pope was told that 
Ignatius, worn out with age and disease, had resigned his 
see, and was now residing in a monastery, loved and 
venerated by all, from the emperor down ; that he (Pho- 
tius) had been chosen patriarch by the unanimous voice of 
the bishops, and that he had been compelled by the emperor 
to assume the dignity. (1). Pope Nicholas I. then sent 
as legates to Constantinople the bishops Piodoald of Porto 
andZachary of Anagni. who were charged with the enforce- 
ment of the decrees of the Seventh Council on the image 
question, and instructed "to investigate tlie cause of the 
patriarch Ignatius, and to refer it to the true and thoroughj 
judgment of the Apostolic See." The legates were ordered' 
to communicate with Photius, " as with a layman," as we 
learn from the intruder himself. (2). The Pontiff sent let- 
ters to the emperor and to Photius. Writing to Michael, he 
disapproved of the deposition of Ignatius, as done " with- 
out the advice of the Roman Pontiff; " he condemned the 
elevation of Photius, as a violation of the Canons of Sardica 
and of the decrees of Popes Celestine I , Leo I., Gelasius, 
and Adrian I. ; he ordered that Ignatius should be brouglit 
before the Papal legates in full Synod, that an investigation, 
might be held as to the causes of his deposition ; he insisted 
upon due honor to images ; he ordered the restoration of 
the patrimonies of the Roman Church in Sicily, which had 

niNiCETAS. Lift (if Tanatim; PHOTirs. Epistle to XicholaK 7., ia Barouio, ;/. 859; 
AXASTASus, Preface tnHth <'(ni)icH; Styliaxvs, Epwtlc to Stephen VI. ; Metrophaxes ■ 
of Smyrna, Ejjiatlc tn Manml 

(•,i) EpiMle /., tfj 0/! Catholics. 


beeu alienated by Leo tlie Isaurian, This epistle bears 
date of Sept. 25. 859. In his letter to Pbotius, Pope 
Nicholas refuses to recognize that prelate's uncanonical 

Upon their arrival at Constantinople, the Papal legates 
were confined to their quarters for a hundred days, being 
allowed to communicate with no one unprovided with an im- 
perial permission ; threats of starvation, exile, etc., were 
also made, if they did not recognize the legitimacy of 
Photius' installation. History shows us that, as a general 
thing, Pontifical ambassadors have exhibited a courage and 
fidelity worthy of their high position, but Rodoald and 
Zachary were of the few who, at various times, have igno- 
miuiously betrayed their trust. Yielding to the combined 
influence of fear and bribery, they promised to favor the 
•cause of Photius, and in 861 a numerous Synod was held, 
at which, although the legates were present, the emperor 
really presided. The intruding patriarch caused a muti- 
lated version of the letters of Pope Nicholas to be read, 
and then, in the name of the legates, Ignatius was ordered 
to appear before the Synod. The holy patriarch was on his 
way, dressed in the robes appropriate to his dignity, when 
he was threatened with death if he appeared before the 
prelates in any other guise than that of a monk. Thus he 
accordingly presented himself, and was immediately as- 
sailed by the emperor with a torrent of invectives. Seated 
upon a wooden bench, he was allowed to speak with the 
legates. Asking them if they had no letters to him from 
the Pontifi', he was informed that " there were none ; they 
had been sent, not to a patriarch, but to one who had been 
condemned by the Synod of his own province, and that 
they were prepared to settle all things according to the 
Canons." To this Ignatius retorted : " Then first remove 
the adulterous one ; if jon cannot do so, you are no judges." 
The legates yjointed to Michael, and replied : " He orders 
us." The unfortunate patriarch was then besieged by the 
officers of the palace, who vainly urged him to yield up his 
claims. Cited before the Synod, he refused to acknowledge 
it as his judge, and appealed to the Pope, saying : " I do not 


acknowledge such judges ; I appeal to the Pope, and wil! 
willingly bow to his decision." He then desired the bish- 
ops to read the Decree of Pope Innocent I. in the case of 
St. Chrysostom, in which that holy doctor's restoration to 
his diocese was ordered as a preliminary to any judgment ; 
he also quoted the 4th Canon of Sardica, " If any bishop be 
deposed, and he declares that he has a defense, let no one 
be substituted in his place, until the Pontiff of the Eoman 
Church shall have decided in the matter." Urged again 
and again to appear before the Synod, and being told that 
there were many witnesses who would swear that his elec- 
tion had been uucanonical, Ignatius answered : " If I am 
not archbishop, thou art not emperor, nor are these bish- 
ops ; for you were all consecrated by my unworthy hands 
and prayers." Seventy-two witnesses now came forward 
and swore that Ignatius had been thrust into the patriarchal 
chair by the secular power ; only one bishop, Theodulus of 
Ancyra, tried to defend the victim, but he was stopped by a 
blow which caused his blood to flow. Then was read the 
Apostolic Canon which declares that, " if any bishop obtains 
a church through use of the secular power, let him be 
deposed," and a decree of condemnation was passed against 
Ignatius. The ceremony of degradation was then per- 
formed, the pallium and many other patriarchal ornaments 
being placed upon, and then taken from, the unfortunate by 
one Procopius, a subdeacon whose vices had caused his 
suspension. As this minister of injustice pronounced the 
word 'unworthy" at each removal of insignia, the treach- 
erous legates and all the episcopal sycophants echoed the 
opprobrious term, and Photius had triumphed. But the 
hatred of Bardas was not yet appeased, and if Photius could 
not compass the death of the patriarch, he was bound to- 
have, at least, his resignation. Ignatius was conveyed to^ 
the tomb of Copronymus and there subjected to torture. 
After two weeks of racking, whipping, and starvation, an 
attack of dysentery nearly ended his life. As he lay inani- 
mate upon the stones, a certain Theodore, a crpature of 
Photius, traced a cross with the patriarch's hand upon a 
clean sheet of parchment, and took tl'e sheet to liis master.. 


Photius then wrote above the mark : " I, the unworthy 
Ignatius of Constantinople, confess that I have usurped 
the throne of this church, not having been legally chosen, 
and that I have acted the tyrant." But this document gave 
no security for the future ; accoixlingly, the two conspirators 
resolved to adopt that plan of mutilation so commonly used 
by the Byzantine rulers toward all from whom they antici- 
pated danger. Orders were given to pluck out the eyes 
and cut oif the hands of their victim, but when the execu- 
tioners entered his mother's apartments, to which he had 
been taken, they found them empty. Ignatius now fled 
from place to place, pursued by the imperial emissaries, who 
had orders to kill him on sight as a disturber of the empire. 
But God protected him, and when a forty days' earthquake 
had thoroughly convinced the Byzantines of the divine 
displeasure, a pardon was proclaimed for Ignatius, and 
permission accorded him to live in his old raonasterv (1). 

In the meantime there had arrived in Rome a faithful 
friend of Ignatius, the archimandrite Theognostus, who pre- 
sented to Pope Nicholas, in the name of the patriarch, a 
full account of his own and his church's calamities. This 
document commences : " Ignatius, oppressed by tyranny, 
etc., to Our Most Holy Lord and Most Blessed Ruler, the 
Patriarch of all the Sees, the Successor of St. Peter, 
Prince of the Apostles, the Universal Pope Nicholas, and 
to all his Most Holy Bishops, and to the entire Most Wise 
Roman Church." And it finishes with this appeal: "Do 
thou. Most Holy Lord, show to me the bowels of thy 
mercy, and say with the great Apostle : ' Who is weak, and I 
am not wp>ak ? ' Look upon thy predecessors, the patri- 
archs Fabian, Julius, Innocent, Leo, and, in fine, all who 
have manfully ^ought for the faith and for truth ; imitate 
them, and arise in vindication of us who have suffered these 
things." The legates Rodoald and Zachary now returned 
to Rome, but merely reported that Ignatius had b<^eu 
deposed and Photius confirmed. There came also to the 
Pontiff an ambassador from the emperor Michael, in the 

(1) These facts are recorded by Nlcetas; by Theognostus, in the book inscribed to Pope 
Nicholas I. and all the bishops of the West ; in the EpMhx of Nicholas I., nos 7. s. and ; 
and by Anastaslus, in Preface to 8th Council. 


person of Lis secretary Leo, charged with the task of de- 
livering to his Holiness an account of the proceedings of 
the Photian Synod, and of obtaining its confirmation. 

The Pontiff soon discovered the prevarication of his 
legates, and having called a Synod, he declared, in the 
presence of the imj^erial secretary, that he had never, and 
never would, consent to the deposition of Ignatius ; as for 
the legate Zachary, he was deposed from the priesthood, 
while Rodoald, then absent in France, would be tried at a 
future time. Leo was then dismissed with letters of the 
same tenor to Michael and Photius. In his letter to 
Photius, the Pontiff is careful to address him as though he 
were a layman, for, although his consecration was valid, it 
was illicit. He inscribes the document " To the most pru- 
dent man, Photius," and after descanting upon the author- 
ity and primacy of the Holy See, which Photius himself 
then acknowledged, he refutes the arguments adduced by 
the intruder in justification of his uncanonical election, and 
declares that Ignatius is the legitimate patriarch of Con- 
stantinople. This epistle is dated March 18. 862, and on 
the same day the Pontiff' issued a letter to all the patriarchs 
and bishops of the East, prohibiting any recognition of 
Photius as patriarch. These letters of Pope Nicholas in- 
furiated the emperor, and he dispatched to Pome his 
Sword-bearer, with a very disrespectful epistJe to the Pon- 
tiff, urging more strongly than ever the recognition of the 
usurper. The result of this embassy- was the ai3pearance 
of a Papal letter, still more exhaustive in its arguments 
against Photius. Nevertheless, the intruder prospered 
under the protection of Michael, and when his great 
patron, Bardas, had ])een put to death for su])posed con- 
spiracy, he was sufficiently wily to make the emperor 
believe in his fidelity, and to render that protection more 
solid than ever. In the year 866 the madness of Photius 
culminated in an " excommunication " of the Roman Pon- 
tiff ; and in an Encyclical to all the patriarchs of the East, 
he adduced, in justification of his rebellious attitude, tlje 
following accusations against the Latins. Tliey fasted on 
Saturdays. They observed the first week of Lent in a glut- 


tonous manner, namely, drinking milk, eating cheese, etc. 
They imposed the yoke of celibacy upon their priests. 
They denied to priests the right of administering Confirma- 
tion. They taught that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the 
Father and the Son. In the year 867, Pliotius held another 
Pseudo-Synod, composed of the bishops of his faction and 
of impostors who called themselves legates of the other 
patriarchs. He repeated his anathema against Pope Nicho- 
las I. and sent the Ads to the emperor Louis 11. , promising 
him the Byzantine throne, if he would procure the deposi- 
tion of the Pontiff. But Photius now experienced a great 
reverse of fortune. 

In the year 867, the emperor Michael associated his 
quondam chamberlain, Basil, with himself in the govern- 
ment. This prince, however, soon excited his monarch's 
displeasure, and his tenure of life became uncertain. 
Therefore he seized the opportunity afforded by an imperial 
debauch, and assassinated Michael. (1). The day following, 
he ordered the removal of Photius from the patriarchal 
palace, and his seclusion in a monastery. (2). Ignatius was 
then, after nine years of persecution, restored to the patriar- 
chate. Basil immediately informed Pope Nicholas of his 
exertions for the well-being and liberty of the Church, and 
that his impartiality might be evident, he sent to Eome 
not only the metropolitan John of Syleum, on the j)art of 
Ignatius, but also the metropolitan Peter of Sardia, to 
defend the cause of Photius. He also begged the Pontiff 
to send legates to Constantinople, that an end might be put 
to all ecclesiastical turmoils. Ignatius also wrote to the 
Pope, consulting him as to the course to be pursued with 
reference to those who had become schismatics under 
Photius. In this letter, Ignatius gives the following mag- 

(1; According to Liutprand, h. i., c. 1, a celestial vision induced Basil to perform great 
penance for this crime. 

vi) Among the effects of Photius, the imperial officers found two elegantly bound Mss. 
One contained the ^-icfs of the Pseudo-Synod held against Ignatius, and seven pictures, 
illustrating the same, painted by Gregory of Syracuse. The first represented the holy ccm- 
Jessor receiving a heating, and was inscribed "The Devil." In the second he was seen 
covered with spittle, and styled "The Beginning of Sin." The third showed him de- 
throned, with the epigraph Son of Perdition." In the fourth he was depicted in chains 
and condemned to exile, with the motto "Avarice of Simon Magus." The fifth calumni- 
ated him ;is " He who extols himself above all that is called or worshipped as God." In 
the sixth lie was condemned to death as " The Abomination of Desolation.' The seventh 
pictured him being dragged to the scaffold under the name of 'Anti-Christ.' The secotid 
Ms. was a copy of the documents sent to the emperor Louis 11. 


nificent testimony to the reverence of tlie Greek Clmrcli 
of his time for the See of Peter : " For the cure of the 
wounds and ills of the human body, the medical art fur- 
nishes US with a great number of physicians ; but for the 
members of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of our 
God the Saviour, there is only one chosen and universal 
physician, namely, your Fraternal and Paternal Holiness, 
constituted by the Supreme and Most Powerful Word of 
God, when He said to Peter, the supreme and most holy- 
Prince of the Apostles : ' Thou art Peter, etc' And these 
blessed words were not addressed to the Prince of the 
Apostles, simply as conferring a private privilege, but 
through him they were directed to all the Pontiffs of the 
Koman See, his successors. Wherefore, in the past, when 
ever heresies and corruptions came into existence, the sue. 
cessors in your Apostolic See always extirpated such tares- 
and noxious growth ; and now, your Blessedness, worthily 
using the power received from Christ, crushes the enemies of 
truth, and him who, like a robber, enters the fold of Christ 
by the window .... With the physician's hand of holy and 
Apostolic authority, you cut him off from the bod}- of the 
Church ; and pronouncing us innocent, who have been so 
oppressed by his wickedness you have, like a most loving 
brother, restored us to our church." When the legates of 
Basil arrived in Rome, they found that Pope Adrian II. had 
mounted the throne. Having presented their letters, they 
witnessed, in a Ptoman Synod, the confirmation of the 
deposition of Photius and of Ignatius' restoration. 

To remedy the evils produced in the East by the schism 
of Photius, Pope Adrian II. convoked the Ei(!;lith General 
Council, which met at Constantinople, Oct. 5, 8G9. Before, 
however, we treat of this subject, it is better to finish our 
historical sketch of the career of Photius. During ten years 
of exile, this wretched man was able to do little more, in 
the way of furthering his ambition, than meditate and plot. 
Ignatius was restored bv a sentence of an Oecumenical Coun- 
cil, was protected by the Ptoman Pontiff, and enjoyed the- 
favor of his sovereign. The cunning of the schemer, how- 
ever, was great and by means of friends at court he was* 


constantly informed of everything which might be turned to 
his advantage. Having learned that Basil was exceedirgly 
sensitive on the subject of his lowly origin, he excogitated a 
means of gratifying the imperial vanity, trusting to thereby 
mount in time to the point of his ambition. He invented a 
genealogical table, by which it was shown that Basil was 
descended from Tyridates, a famous king of Armenia. 
(1). The hospitality of the palace was now extended to 
Photius, and he was appointed governor of the imperial 
princes. But his influence over Basil was not strong enough 
to bring about the deposition of Ignatius. He therefore 
simulated repentance for the past, and earnestly besought 
the patriarch to restore him to the active priesthood. Ig- 
natius, however, would not yield, and then the daring of 
Photius and the weakness of the emperor became manifest. 
Photius put on the patriarchal insignia, and he presumed to 
hold ordinations in the imperial chapel. The death of Ig- 
natius now occurred (878), and the usurper again seized 
the patriarchal throne. Many of the suffragan bishops 
were already of his faction ; some others he won by promo- 
tion or by money, while the few who refused to recognize 
his jurisdiction were turned over to the mercies of Leo Cata- 
calus, the prefect of the guards. He pretended that the 
ordinations of Ignatius were null and void, and as such, he 
repeated them ; he restored to their sees all the bishops 
whom Ignatius had suspended. (2). At this time, the Apos- 
tolic legation at Constantinople was held by the bishops 
Paul of Ancona and Eugene of Ostia. Faithful to their trust, 
they refused even to admit Photius to communion : hence the 
infatuated Basil sent legates to Rome to try the constancy 
of Pope John VIII., then in the sixth year of his Pontificate. 
Photius also sent to Rome his creature, Theodore Santaba- 
renus, whom he had made metropolitan of Patras, as bear- 
er of a letter in which it was declared that Photius had 

(1) By the connivance of Theophanes, one of the imperial chaplains, this table, adorned 
with nianv prophetic descriptions, was placed in the I'alatine Library. Theophanes then 
pretended to discover it, and telling Basil that it greatly interested the imperial family, he 
declared that only one mini in the empire was siifflcienfly erudite to interpret it. That 
man was Photius iind he was immediately summoned to the palace- Here his intrigues 
were greatly aided by Theodore Santabarenus, a monk addicted to necromancy, but re- 
puted a saint by Basil. 

(2) These facts are gathered from Nicetas' Life of St. Ignatius, and from the Epistle nf 
Stijlidiitix to Pope Stephen V. 


been forced by the bishops and b}' the emperor to accept 
the patriarchal dignity. This letter bore the signatures 
and seals of all the metropolitans, those of the faithful 
prelates having been procured by Peter, the imperial sec- 
retary, under pretext that the document was connected with 
the purchase of some ground for the patriarchate. (1). The 
result of this mission to Pope John VIII. was the restora- 
tion of Photius, to l)e effected, however, under certain condi- 
tions. In speaking of this action of Pope John "STTL, 
Alexandre does not hesitate to say that by it " was rescinded 
the resolution of the Eighth Council never to receive Pho- 
tius, to which resolution John himself, then archdeacon^ 
had subscribed, before the universal Church," and that by 
it ''John now gave up his name to everlasting reproach." 
That this harsh judgment is also unjust, a calm considera- 
tion of the facts in the case will conclusively show. Basil 
asserted that Photius was repentant ; that his confirmation 
would give peace to the church of Constantinople ; that 
such confirmation was desired even by those who had been 
ordained by Ignatius and Methodius. These assertions 
were apparently corroborated by the forged signatures to 
Photius' letter. Again, the general conduct of Basil had 
caused Borne to regard him as meriting well of the Church ; 
hence if he could be gratified in justice and with honor, pru- 
dence suggested a compliance with his wishes. Finally, 
Ignatius Avas now dead, and no one claimed the see in 
ojjposition to Photius. (2). In his answer to Basil, Epist. 
199, the Pontiff says that he hearkens to the emperor's 
prayers, " without any prejudice to the Apostolic statutes, 
or any relaxation of the rules of the fathers ; yea, rather 
resting " upon their authority ; " and after quoting instances 
of prudent yielding to circumstances, on the part of his 

(1) NiCKTAS, ih\f\. 

d) Nor slioiilil it 1)1- forgotten that Popp .lolin relied upon tlie Greek fleets to protect tlie 
coasts uf llie CaiiipaKiia ami Tui-caiiy from tlie Saraeeus. It is remarl^able tliat wliiic even 
Barouio blames I'ope John VIH forliis restoration of Photius, the furious (Jalliiati I)e 
Marca (I'riistliiiiKl a ml Kiniiin , h. iii., c. U ). thus excuses him : " Ijrnatius haviufj ilieil, 
the often eondcnincil Photius recovered his see throujrh the voles of the Kastern bishops 
and the goo(l will of tlic eniiieror liasil : but tliat restoration could not have been com- 
plete without the ai)pr(ival of the Apostolic Chair. Wherefore .lohu VIII., besoujrht by the 
empt;ror to consult the peace of the (luirch. i-edeil to necessity, and, intlueiiced by the 
example of Leo, (ielasius, Feli.x. and an .African Council, who all thoujrht that in some 
emergencies rules ndght be modilled. he fn-eil Photius from anathema, with the consent of 
the other patriarchs, and allowed I im to leiaiii the i)alriarchal throne, on condition that he 

would ben pardon before the coiuitiK Council The airreemeut of the emperor, the 

•ther patriarchs, and a full Eastern Synod, frees John from blame." 


predecessors and certain S^'nods, be grants the request of 
the patriarchs of Alexandria, Autioch, and Jerusalem, of all 
the metropolitans, bishops, priests, and of all the clerg}- of 
Constantinople, who remain of the ordination of Methodius 
and Ignatius ; and receives as co-minister in the episcopal 
office the same Photius, if, according to custom, he begs mercy 
in a Synod We, upon whom, according to the Apos- 
tle, rests the care of all the churches, not wishing that there 
should any longer remain cause of dispute in the Clinrch of 
God, absolve this same patriarch from all ecclesiastical 
censure ; and with him, all the bishops, priests, clerics, and 
laymen against whom the censures of the divine judgment 
have been pronounced ; and we decree that he receive the 

Constantinopolitan see princii3ally because, by this 

act, all will witness an instance of Apostolic mercy." When 
the imperial ambassadors departed from Home, they were 
accomjDanied by the legate Peter, cardinal of the title of St. 
Chrysogonus, with instructions to arrange, in union with 
two other legates already at Constantinople, but in accord- 
ance with what had been decreed at Rome, the affairs of 
the distracted patriarchate. Peter arrived at his post in 
November, 879, and in an interview with Photius handed 
him the Papal letters of instruction. The schemer then re- 
quested permission to retain the documents for a short time, 
that he might have them translated into Greek, for the use 
of the coming Synod. The legates assented, and it was 
afterwards found that the imprudent concession had fur- 
nished an opportunity for an interested mutilation and inter- 
polation of the Papal instructions. Among other alterations, 
Photius erased the clause in which he was ordered to throw 
himself on the mercy of the Synod. He also inserted a 
condemnation of the Eighth Council, held ten years before^ 
against his schism, and an abrogation of all the decrees is- 
sued against himself by the Pontiffs Nicholas I. and Adrian 
II. Armed with this new weapon, Photius now held that 
famous Synod which the schismatics afcerwards styled the 
Eighth (Ecumenical. The couchwe met in the church of 
St. Sophia, and was attended by 380 prelates, and by the 
whole imperial family. The Papal legates were also on 


Iriiul, but, like their unfortunate predecessors in the time of 
Pope Nicholas, they had been corrupted. Photius, there- 
fore, had things his own way. Although his own cause was 
in question, he was allowed to preside, the legates assent- 
ing to everything proposed by the usurper, and saying 
nothing of the Pontifical mandates. After a solemn restora- 
tion of Photius to the patriarchate, and an excommunica- 
tion of all who would not communicati' with him, the Pseudo- 
Synod issued a number of canons, to give the affair more of 
a conciliary appearance. Photius wished much to have the 
" Latin doctrine," as he called it, of the Filioque, condem- 
ned, but fearing lest the Papal legates -would be incited to 
something like a resemblance of their duty, and thus ren- 
der null all of his proceedings, he deferred his overt act of 
heresy to a more propitious time. (1) 

The three Papal legates returned to Rome immediately 
after the Photian " Eighth Synod," and simply reported that 
peace was restored to the Constantinopolitau church, and 
that the emperor would send a powerful fleet to protect the 
Italian coasts from the Saracens. But the letter of Photius, 
admitting that he had not asked pardon of the Synod, 
caused Pope John VIII. to suspect that his commands had 
been evaded in more ways than one. Hence he commis- 
sioned the cardinal Marinus, who was destined to succeed 
him in the Papacy, and who had been one of the presidents 
of the Eighth Council, to return to Constantinople for the 
])urpose of investigation, instructing him to rescind all 
which he might discover to have been unjustly or illegally 
done by the former legates. Marinus did his duty. The 
frauds of Photius were made manifest, and therefore his 
old condemnation by the Eighth Council was revived. The 
olden ze;il of Basil for the good of the Church had been 
greatlv modified by his intimacy with Photius, and he was 
made furious by the apostolic intrepidity of Marinus. He 
forgot the respect which all rulers owe to the law of na- 
tions, and even that which every Christian should show to 
the representative of Christ's vicar. The legate was thrown 

(1) Six wocks after tnc Pspiido-Synoci, wluli- at an asseinUly of bisliops In tlic Triclhiiinn 
of the Blaclicriial palace, the cinperor a.skeil I'liotius for a Profession of Kalili. and reeeived 
one tn-uU' III) f' I'le ilellnilions of tlie llrst seven Couneils, with a ■leclaralioM iliat i>)t!i :ik 
BhouUi he. udiied to tlieni. 


into prison, and for thirty days his constancy was tried, but 
the only result was an exhibition of firmness which was a 
glorious offset to the scandal caused among tho vacillating 
Greeks by the weakness of his predecessors. When Pope 
John VIII was informed of the treachery of his legates, 
and of Photius' usurpation, he immediately confirmed the 
condemuatorv sentences of Nicholas I. and Adrian II., and 
kidded his own anathema. Pope Marinus, who succeeded 
John VIII. ill the year 882, confirmed the acts of his prede- 
cessor in reference to Constautinopolitan affairs, and the in- 
fatuated Basil dared to retort by asserting that Marinus was 
not a legitimate Pope, since he had been bishop of another 
.see, and could not abandon it. It was during the reign of 
Marinus that Photius wrote to the schismatic patriarch of 
Aquileia his famous Epistle attacking the Catholic dogma 
on the Procession of the Holy Ghost. (1). During the Pon- 
tificate of Adrian III. (884 — 85), Basil again vainly sought 
from Rome the recognition of Photius. In the year 889, 
Leo, surnamed '' the philosopher " on account of his erudi- 
tion, succeeded his father Basil on the imperial throne of 
Byzantium, and with his advent came an end to the first 
stage of the Greek Schism. The Papal Chair was then 
occupied by Stephen VI. (885 — 91), one of whose first acts 
had been a brilliant and solid defence of the actions of his 
pi-edecessors in the Photian matter, against the insolent 
attacks of Basil. The letters of Stephen produced a deep 
impression on the mind of Leo, and he immediately eject- 
ed Photius from the patriarchal palace, appointing in- 
stead his own brother Stephen. Having recalled from 
exile all the bishops and priests who had been the victims 
of Photius, Leo addressed them : " Having sought the truth, 
our authority, which is from God, has ejected that 
wicked man Photius from the patriarchal chair and 
has stopped your persecution. Nor shall we compel you, 
in any way, to unwillingly communicate with him ; we 
rather request of your piety that you communicate with 
our brother, that there may be but one fold. If. however, 
you do not wish to communicate with my brother, without 

(1) Baronio, year 883. 


first consulting Rome, wliich has condemned Pbotius, and 
because my brotlier was ordained deacon by him, let us 
together write to the Pontiff that he may give absolution 
from the anathema pronounced against those ordained by 
Photius." Letters were accordingly sent to Pope Stephen 
VI. by Leo and by Stylianus of Neo-Csesarea, in the name 
of the Greek bishops, begging the Pontiff to remove the 
censure from all who were worthy of pardon. After due 
consideration, the Holy See sent legates to Constantinople, 
in 891, with instructions to recognize the jjatriarch Stephen, 
and to remove all censures from such as they would deem 
worthy of lenient treatment. From this time history is 
silent with regard to Photius. Manuel Calecas (1) contends 
that he died in the communion of Eome. Certain Greek 
schismatic writers (2) have asserted that he re-communicat- 
ed with the Latins, when these "had recanted their errors." 
But these authors are sufficiently refuted by the Breviary 
or Synopsis of the Eighth Council, affixed in 891 to the doors 
of St. Sophias' Basilica, and quoted by us in the last 

The Eighth General Council now demands our attention. 
That this assembly possessed the first requisite of oecumen- 
icity, namely, convocation by the Supreme Pontiff, ia 
proved by the Epistle of Pope Adrian II. to the emperor 
Basil, read in the first Session : " "We desire that a numerous 
Council be celebrated at Constantinople through the 
industry of your Piety ; at which Council our legates will 
preside, and having examined into the causes of men and 
their crimes, they will give to the iiames all the copies of 
the impious Pseudo-Synod (the Photiau Eighth) which 
must be surrendered by all who have them." And in the 
Preface of the Eighth Synod, sent to Adrian II., we read : 
" Having sent, with your Apostolic authorit}^ your vicar 
and epistolary decretals, you commanded a Synod to be 
held at Constantinople, etc." That the Pa])al legates, 
namely, Donatus, bishop of Ostia, Stephen, the bishop of 

(1) Calecas was a Greek (trtlitKUiX author of the fmirteeiith ceutury. His priiieipal work, 
directed ajrainst "Tlie Errors of the (ireeks," was iranshited into Latlu by order of Martia 


(2) Michael A.nchialis, Dialogue with Emmnnucl Crunncnm ; Maximcs Margcin, 
DinUti/iie of n Grech tcith a Lutin . "spe thp work of Leo AUatlus on the PrrpcUtal Aipec- 
meat of Ihc Easlern and Western CUurilus, b. ii., c. (5. 


Nepi, and Marinus, the deacon, presided over the Council, 
is evident from the Acts. The first Session commences . 
"Being assembled, Donatus and Stephen, bishops, and Ma- 
rinus, the deacon, holding the place of Adrian, archbishop 
of the senior Eome, and Ignatius, archbishop of Constanti- 
nople, the younger Rome ; and the Vicar of the Orient, 
Thomas, metropolitan of Tyre, holding the place of the see 

of Antioch, etc The most holy vicars of the senior 

Rome said : ' Therefore let us put all hesitation out of 
your hearts, and let us certify to you by word and by deed 
that we shall dispose all things as has been commanded 
unto us. We have, then, letters to the emperor and to the 
patriarch, and if you order, let them be read.'" Again, 
the Papal legates are first named, speak before all others, 
and are the first to subscribe to the decrees. 

The Eighth General Council, also styled the Fourth of 
Constantinople, was opened on Wednesday, the 5th of 
October, 869, in the second year of Pope Adrian II., and 
third of the emperor Basil, and its sessions were held in 
the basilica of St. Sophia. In the First Session, thePapal 
legates were asked to manifest the nature of their commis- 
sion, and as they deemed the question rather insolent, they 
hesitated to answer. Then the Patrician Bahanes informed 
the legates that no contempt of the Apostolic See was meant 
by this request, but rather a precaution, on account of the 
prevarication of Rodoald and Zachary, the legates of 
Nicholas I. The legates therefore replied : " We have in 
our hands a letter sent to the emperor by the most holy 
Pope Adrian, who has also given us power to so order all 
things according to what the blessed Pope Nicholas estab- 
lished for the holy church of Constantinople, that we may 
so arrange and strengthen them, that no one will be able to 
combat them, and that we may confirm what the most holy 
Adrian has commanded. For he has inherited the labors 
of him to whose honors he has succeeded ; for this, God 
placed him in His Church. Behold the letter of the holy 
Pope Adrian. If you wish, let it be read." After the 
reading of the Pontifical letter, the legates ordered a read- 
ing of a Papal document, to which all who wished the com- 


raiinion of Rome were obliged to subscribe. It contained a 
condemnation of all heresies, and an anathema against 
Photius ; also a declaration that the subscriber accepted all 
that Pope Nicholas I. and Adrian II. had done in the cause 
of Ignatius and Photius. In this document, which was 
si<nied by the entire Council, the following passages are 
iioteworth}' : "For we must not forget the words of our 
Lord Jesus Christ : ' Thou art Peter, etc' This saying has 
been proved by events, because in the Apostolic Chair the 
Catholic Religion has been preserved immaculate, and holy 
doctrine ever held. Therefore, not wishing to be separated 
from the faith and doctrine of this See, and following the 
Constitutions of the rulers of this holy Apostolic See, we 
anathematize the Iconoclasts and all heresies ; we ana- 
thematize also Photius, etc." 

The Second Session was held on the 9th of October. It 
"being announced to the fathers that certain bishops were 
waiting without, who, having been ordained by Methodius 
or by Ignatius, had joined the Photian ranks, they were told 
to enter the Synod. Having begged pardon for their trans- 
gressions, they were addressed by the legates : " We receive 
you, according to the command of our most holy Pope 
Adrian, on account of your avowal of repentance." They 
then replied : " And we reverence you, and acknowledge 
jou as our judges, and we will accept your judgment as from 
the Person of the Son of God." Having then subscribed 
to the document issued by Rome, and read in the first Ses 
«ion, the penitents were admitted to seats in the Synod, but 
were ordered not to exercise their functions until tlie follow- 
ing Christmas, the intervening period to be spent in penance. 

The Third Session was held on the 5th of the Ides of 
October. The fathers invited Theodolus of Aucyra and 
Nicephorus of Nice to subscribe to the Roman Dcjiuition, 
but they refused. It having been discovered that Theodore 
of Caria, one of those lately f(U-given, had been erne of 
Photius' accomplices in anathematizing Pope Nicholas I., 
his case was reserved to the Pontiti". The epistle of Pope 
Adrian to Ignatius was read, and declared " cauonically 
•written and full of justice." 


The fourth Session was held ou the 3el of the Ides of 
October, The bishops Zachary and Theophilus, of the 
Photian faction, were presented by certain patricians, but 
when urged to sign the Pontifical Definition, they declared 
that both they and Photius had been received by Pope 
Nicholas I. on the occasion of a mission which they had 
undertaken for the usurper to that Pontifi". The legates 
therefore caused several epistles of Nicholas to be read, 
.and then it was demonstrated that these schismatics lied. 
Urged again to subscribe to the Definition, they replied : 
■'■'• We wish to hear nothing about it." By order of the le- 
gates, they were shut out of the Synod. 

The Fifth Session was held on the 13th of the Calends of 
November. Photius was summoned by means of laics to 
the Council, but when he was introduced, and asked 
whether he would receive the decrees of Nicholas I. and of 
Adrian II., he remained silent. Urged to reply, he an- 
swered : "God hears me, even when I am silent." Pressed 
again, he replied : " Jesus also was condemned when silent." 
Elias, vicar for the patriarch of Jerusalem, then ascended 
the pulpit and energetically contended that his church had 
never recognized Photius, concluding by exhorting him to 
repentance. The legates also urged the unfortunate man to 
repentance, that he might merit lay-communion. Pressed al- 
so by the patrician Bahanes, he answered : " My justifica- 
tion is not in this world," and then sank again into an obsti- 
nate silence. He was therefore dismissed from the Council. 

The Sixth Session was held on the 8th Calends of Novem- 
ber. The emperor Basil asked the bishops who yet adhered 
to Photius if they would at last yield to the decision of 
the Church, but they impudently answered that the judg- 
ments against their leader were null and void. Zachary of 
Chalcedon now arose, and in a discourse which was a tissue 
of sophisms where it was not mere baseless assertion, en- 
deavored to sustain the cause of the baffled intruder. 
Metrophanes of Smyrna then dissected the remarks of 
Zachary, and refuted them, point by point After an ex- 
hortation to penitence addressed to the recalcitrants by 
Basil, seven days of delay were granted them. 


The Seventli Session was held on the 4th Calends of 
November. Photius and Gregory of Syracuse were brought 
to the Synod and questioned as to their willingness to 
accept the Papal Definition. The only reply of Photius 
was : " Mav the Lord preserve our holy emperor many 
years ! " Urged again by the legates, he answered that they 
liad more need of repentance than he had. Finally, the 
Synod jDronounced anathema on Photius, " the courtier and- 
invader ; the secular, neophyte, and tyrant ; the Condemned 
schismatic, adulterer, and parricide ; the inventor of lies- 
and perverse dogmas; the new Judas and new Dioscorus ; 
anathema on all his followers and sympathizers, etc." 

The Eighth Session was held on the Nones of November. 
All the writings of Photius against the Pontiffs, and the 
Acts of his Pseudo-Synods, were thrown to the flames. 
Basil of Jerusalem and Leontius of Alexandria, whose 
names Photius had inserted among the subscriptions to his 
Pseudo-Synod, as legates of their respective j^atriarchs, 
then anathematized the writings against Pope Nicholas.. 
Many metropolitans were then asked if they had signed the 
decrees of the Photian Synod, and they answered that the 
signatures, which purported to be their own, were forgeries. 
Several Iconoclasts were then reconciled to the Church, the 
emperor kissing them after their abjuration. 

The Ninth Session was held on the day before the Ides 
of February of the new year. Joseph, archdeacon of Al- 
exandria and legate of Michael, the patriarch of that see, 
then explained that his bishop was prevented by the Sar- 
acenic domination from travelling ; that he had obtained 
for Joseph an appointment as commissioner of exchange 
of captives, in order that he might attend the Council in 
his name. Michael was so isolated that he knew nothing of 
the merits or demerits of Photius, but he suggested that 
he and I-rnatius might rule the diocese of Constantinople 
in common. The Alexandrian legate, having read the Jrfs 
of the previous sessions, solemnly accepted them in the 
name of his patriarch. There were then introduced certain 
perjurers, among them the consul Leo, who, compelled by 
Photius and the emperor Michael, had sworn, falsely against 


Ignatius on the occasion of his mock trial. They confessed 
their crime, anathematized Photius, and received a canonical 

In the Tenth Session, held the day before the Calends of 
March, there were edited 27 canons, of which the following 
are the principal. The 1st decrees that all canons of the 
Church are to be observed as " Second utterances of God." 
The 2d orders the observance of the decrees of the Pontiffs 
in the Photiau matter. The 3d accords to the images of 
Clirist, of His Mother, and of the saints, the same honor as 
is given to the Book of the Gospels. The 5th puts a check 
on the growth of the pestilent crop of courtier-bishops, 
by ordering that no one shall be made a bishop unless he 
has been ten years a cleric, and allows no dispensation to 
be ever given in the case of a courtier candidate. The 6tli 
segregates Photius even from lay- communion, on account 
of his forgeries of episcoj^al signatures. The 11th anathem- 
atizes the doctrine of a dual soul in man, taught by Photius. 
The 12th condemns all undue interference of the secular 
power with ecclesiastical preferments. The 13th prohibits 
the elevation to high ecclesiastical dignity in the church of 
Constantinople of any one not belonging to the clergy of 
that see, and excludes from that body the domestic clerics 
of princes and nobles, thus putting another check on the 
courtier-clergy and giving a safeguard to the integritv of 
the patriarchal chair. The 14tli rebukes the want of re- 
spect for their office shown by those bishops who are ever 
ready to pay court to the rich and powerful, especially to 
princes ; condemns their dismounting from horseback, etc , 
in order to salute tlieg reat ones ; and their practice of 
standing among the gentlemen-in-waiting, while the grandees 
are eating. The bishop who thus forgets his dignity is sus- 
pended from communion for one 3'ear; the prince who 
permits such fulsome obsequiousness suffers for two years. 
The 15th prohibits any alienation or mortgaging of ecclesias- 
tical property, and declares it null. A monastery erected 
by the funds of a diocese belongs to that diocese. The 
16th anathematizes those who ridicule the sacred offices or 
officers. The occasion of this canon was the conduct ol 


the emperor Michael, who permitted his Protospatarius, 
Theophilus, to mimic the patriarch for the amusement of 
the court, saying : " Theophilus is my patriarch, the Caesar 
Bardas has Photius, and the Christians have Ignatius." 
The 19th condemns those metropolitans who go about 
among their suffragans, living at their expense, under pre- 
text of visitation. The 25th condemns all the bishops,, 
priests, etc., who pertinaciously adhere to Photius, and de- 
prives them of all hope of restoration. After the promulga- 
tion of the canons, the Council issued a Defnition of Fait Ik 
anathematizing all heresies, and condemning Photius and 
his followers. In subscribing to the conciliary decrees, 
the Papal legates came first, and wrote : "I . . . . , holding 
the place of my Lord Adrian, Supreme Pontiff and Universal 
Pope, and presiding over this Holy and Universal Synod,, 
have promulgated, subject to the will of the same illustrious 
Ruler, everything above recited, and have subscribed with 
my own hand." The vicars of the patriarchs write: "I, 
. . . . , receiving this Holy and Universal Synod, and' 
agreeing with, and defining, all that has been decided and 
written, have subscribed." The emperor Basil and his 
sons do not define, but consent and venerate : " Basil, Con- 
stantine, and Leo, ever August, in the Clirist of God faithful 
princes of the Romans and great Emperors, receiving this 
Holy and Universal Synod, and agreeing with all it has de- 
fined and written, have subscribed." When all the bishops 
had subscribed, the Council issued a Synodical Epistle to 
all the l)ishops and faithful of the Church, giving an ac- 
count of the crimes of Photius and of all proceedings against 
him. An Epistle was then addressed to Pope Adrian II., 
begging a confirmation of the Council, which was immedi- 
ately granted, as is shown by the Pontiff's letter to Basil, 
which was read at the end of the Jc/.*. 

We now again approach a question which we have fre- 
quently had occasion to encounter, that of the amenability 
of a Pontifical judgment to a conciliary juridical examina- 
tion. The author of the Defence of the Dedamtion. etc., and 
with him, Alexandre (1), contends that the actions of the- 

(1) Cod. XV.. <.'iV- 1. n. %. 


Eighth Couucil plainly prove that the prelates deeined the 
conciliary autliority superior to that of the Pontiff. They 
cite the 21st canon, '' If a General Council is in session, 
and there is any doubt or controversy, even about the holy 
Roman Church, an investigation and a solution of the ques- 
tion should be had with due reverence ; audaciously, how- 
ever, sentenee should not be passed against the Supreme 
Pontiffs of the Senior Eome." Again, the bishops were 
asked whether they would receive the letters of Popes 
Nicholas and Adrian. But it can be easily shown that the 
fathers of the Eighth Council, far from critically examining 
the Papal definitions, willingly and at once obeyed the 
injunctions of the Holy See ; that, in fine, all that was ef- 
fected in that Council was done because Rome commanded 
it to be done. In the 3d Session was read the letter sent 
by Basil to Pope Nicholas I., in which the emperor prays 
the Pontiff to predefine what was to be done in the Synod 
soon to be held, and after saying that some of the schismat- 
ics had fallen through fear, and others through simplicity, 
he adds : " We have asked, and now beg, your Paternal 
Holiness, to send a judgment and decree in regard to these 
persons. Thus, O Spiritual Father, and divinely to be 
honored Supreme Pontiff, hasten to the correction of our 
church, and give us an abundance of strength against in- 
justice and for the attainment of truth, that is a clean 
unity, a spiritual structure free from all strife and schism, a 
church one in Christ, and a fold obedient to one shepherd." 
These sentiments certainly indicate a belief in the irreform- 
ability of Papal decisions, and if it be thought that Basil's 
judgment proves little, we turn to the letter sent to Nicholas 
by Ignatius, and already quoted by us, in which the patri- 
arch asserts that the Roman Pontiff is the divinely ap- 
pointed physician for the diseases of Christ's members. 
In answer to this letter, Pope Adrian II., the successor of 
Nicholas I., says : "Your Fraternity must take care that 
the signatures of all of your bishops, united in Synod, be 
put to those chapters which were synodically promulgated 
by us in that Church of God where rests the holy body of 
Peter, Prince of the Apostles : promulgated for the aboli- 


tiou of the profane Synods held in Constantinople by 
Photius. . . . and let tliem be carefully deposited in the 
a,rchives of each diocese." 

Could Pope Adrian have used this language, if he, at 
least, did not hold that the Pontiff was superior to a 
Council ? But let us see what the conciliary Adv evince. 
When, in the 1st Session, the patrician Bahanes requested 
the Papal legates to show their mandatory letters, they at 
first resisted, saying that " until now they had never heard 
that the vicars of the elder Rome were questioned by any- 
body," which elevated language does not imply much of 
subjection toward the Synod. In the same Session was read 
the Papal Definition sent by Adrian, and which all were 
obliged to sign as a preliminary to any recognition. In that 
document was written : " For we must not forget the Avords 
of our Lord Jesus Christ : ' Thou art Peter,' etc. This 
saying has been proved by events, because in the Apostolic 
Chair the Catholic Eeligion has been preserved immaculate, 
and holy doctrine ever held. Therefore, not wishing to be 
separated from the faith and doctrine of this See, and follow- 
ing the constitutions of the rulers of this Apostolic See, we 
anathematize the Iconoclasts and all heresies ; we also an- 
athematize Photius, etc." In these s\'ords the infallibility 
of the Pope is clearly enunciated, for heresy is condemned 
principally because of the Constitutions of Rome. In this 
same Definition, signed by the entire Synod, the subscriber 
promises to observe "all which is herein established ; we 
will observe it according to the ordinance of your decree, 
receiving that which it receives, and condemning wliat it 
condemns, especially the aforesaid Photius .... With re- 
gard to our most venerable patriarch Ignatius and his 
followers, we follow, with our whole lieart, what tiie au- 
thority of your Apostolic See has decreed, and venerate it 
with religious devotion .... because, as we have said, 
following the Apostolic See in all things, and observing all 
its Constitutions, we hope to merit to be in the one communion 
which that Apostolic See offers, and which is the true and 
complete solidity of the Christian religion." When =^uch are 
the sentiments of this Definition, it is plain that the fathers of 


the Eighth Council did not deem their body superior to the 
Pontiff, when they used the phrase cited by our adversaries, 
" The book presented by the holy Roman Church has been 
read, and pleases all." 'i'lie examination, that is, like all of 
those of Avhich we have treated in the cases of the Dogma- 
tic Definitions read in other Councils, was not juridical, but 
informatory. In the 2d Session, when there arose a ques- 
tion as to the treatment of the schismatics, the Papal 
legates declared that Pope Adrian had ordered that they 
should not be received *o penance until they subscribed to 
the Pontifical Definition, and they asked the delinquents : 
" Are you willing to obey the orders of the most holy Pope 
Adrian ? " And when, in the 3d Session, the archbishops of 
Ancyra and Nice refused their signatures, pardon was 
denied them. The conduct of the legates would have been 
arrogant in the extreme, and the Eastern bishops would 
have resisted them, had the mind of the Synod been such as 
our adversaries would have us believe. In the 4:tli Session, 
two of Photius' faction, who had been his legates ^o Pope 
Nicholas, asked admission to the Council. The Papal re- 
presentatives at first opposed their entrance, saying : ' We 
•cannot rescind the decision of the holy Roman Pontifi's ; 
that is contrary to the canons." And when they were 
admitted, it was only that " the just judgment of the holy 
Roman Church might be more manifest." The fathers said : 
" Let the legates enter, but we do not call them to a dispute, 
Tjut only that they may hear the epistle of the most blessed 
Pope Nicholas." In the 5th Session Photius was asked 
"whether he received the judgment of the holy Roman 
Pontiffs ;" and in the 6th, the legates told the emperor that 
he should not speak to Zachary of Chalcedon, because he 
had been condemned by Rome. In the 7th Session, when 
Photius entered with the pastoral crozier, the legates took 
ii from him, because he had no jurisdiction. In fiue, 
throughout the Council, everything was done because of 
the previous decision of Rome. 

The 21st canon does not favor the theory of conciliar 
superiority. At first sight, indeed, it would seem that only 
audacious examinations into Papal decisions are discouraged. 


But how is it tliat the Papal legates made no opposition to. 
this canon, if, as is asserted, it allowed a conciliar dis- 
cussion of Pontifical judgments ? They well knew that such 
procedure was foreign to the ideas of the Holy See ; they 
knew that, a short time before the Council, Pope Nicholas I 
had declared that the value of a Council depended upon its 
approbation by Rome ; they knew that the first See claimed 
the right to judge all others, and the prerogative of being 
judged by none ; they knew that this very Eighth Council 
had not objected to Pope Adrian's assertion, read in the 7th 
Session, that the Pontiff was subject to no judgment, unless 
for heresy, and then only with his own consent. And yet they 
did not oppose the canon. But let us hear the words of 
Popes Nicholas and Adrian. Rebuking the arrogance of 
the emperor Michael, Pope Nicholas says that " The Roman 
Church confirms the Councils by her authority, and guards 
them by her moderation. Hence, certain of these have lost 
their value, because they had not the approbation of the 
Roman Pontiff." And he adduces instances, such as the 
" Robber-Synod " of Ephesus, (431) where bishops and 
patriarchs could not constitute a legitimate Council because 
of the opposition of the great Leo, and then continues : 
" Since, according to the canons, the decisions of iuferiors- 
are to be referred to greater authority, to be confirmed or 
annulled, it is plain that the judgment of the Apostolic See. 
the authority of which is the highest, cannot be revised by 
any one, nor can any one pass judgment on its decision. 
For the canons have willed that from every part of the 
world appeals should be made to Rome, but from her no 
one can appeal." And Pope Adrian II., in his 2d AVocntion 
to the Council, declares : " We read of the Roman Pontiff 
judging the bishops of all churches, but we read of no one 
ever judging him. For although the Orientals pronounced 
anathema upon Honorius after his death, it is to be ob- 
served that he had been accused of heresy, for which alone 
one may resist one's superior, or reject his depraved uttter- 
ances ; but even in this case, the patriarchs and bishops 
cannot pronounce sentence, unless the authority of the- 
Pontiff of the first See has been obtained." Considering,. 


tbeu, these declarations of the Holy See, and the consent of 
the legates to the 21st canon, we must suppose that the 
meaning of the ordinance was that, in case of a question 
about the Roman See, a Council should reverently consult 
the Pontiff, but "not audaciously pronounce sentence." 


The Addition of the Clause "and from the Son" to 

THE Creed. 

In the General Council of Ephesus, one Charisius, a Phila- 
delphian priest, having brought to the fathers a Profesfiion of 
Faith which was redolent of Nestorianism, the following de- 
cree was issued : " No one is allowed to offer, write, or com- 
pose any other Faith than that which was defined by the holy 
fathers congregated at Nice in the Holy Ghost. And whoever 
shall dare to compose another Faith, or to present it to con- 
verts to the truth from paganism, Judaism, or any heresy, 
shall be deprived of their sees if they are bishops, of their 
standing if they are clerics, and if they are laymen, they 
shall be subject to anathema." The same decree was re- 
peated by the Council of Chalcedon in its Definition of 
Faith. Among the excuses given by Photius for his schism, 
and repeated by Michael Cerularius when he re-inaugurated 
a separation of the Eastern and Western Churches was 
the assertion that the Latins had violated this prohibition 
by adding the words "and from the Son " {Fih'oque) to the 
clause of the Constantinopolitan Creed which expresses the 
Procession of the Holy Gliost. Traces of this dispute be- 
tween the Latins and Greeks are found as far back as the 
Synod of Gentilly, held in 767 It was agitated in the 
Synod held at Aix-la-Cliapelle, under Charlemagne, in 809, 
and has been renewed at every effort made for a healing of 
the schism, notably in the Fourth Council of the Lateran 
(1215), in the Second of Lyons (1274), and in that of Flo- 
rence (1439). In theological language, when we speak of the 
origin of the Divine Persons, we say that the Son comes 


from the Father by " generation," and that the Holy Ghost 
comes from both by " procession " (1). In the Si/mhol drawn 
up by the Second General Council, the First of Constanti- 
nople (381), it was simply stated that the Holy Ghost pro- 
ceeds from the Father. But the faith of the Church being 
that the Son also is a source of origin to the Spirit, the 
clause " and from the Son " came to be added in the De/i- 
nitions of Faith, and often in the Sijmbol or Creed. We know 
that the Sixteenth General Council (Florence) finally and 
definitively approved of the addition, as a necessary test 
of orthodoxy ; but we cannot lay the finger on the date, 
place, or circumstances of the first use of the questioned 
clause. It occurs in the Greed recited by king Ricardo in 
the Third Council of Toledo, in 589 ; in the Exposition of 
Faith of the Fourth of Toledo, 633 ; in the Creed recited in 
the Eighth of Toledo, in 653, and that Synod tells us that 
this Creed was then read at Mass throughout Spain. In the 
Twelfth, Thirteenth, and Fifteenth Councils, held at Toledo, 
in the years 681, 683, and 688, the addition occurs in the 
Creed. It was also read in the Synod of Forli, held in 791, 
by Paulinus, patriarch of Aquileia. In the year 809 the 
ambassadors of Charlemagne conferred with Pope Leo III, 
about the clause. 

The Greek schismatics have always fallen back for de- 
fense upon the prohibitory canon of Ephesus, and that their 
interpretation of it is correct, they try to prove by various 
ancient testimonies. Thus they adduce St. Cyril of Alex- 
andria (2), saying : " We in no way permit any one to attack 
that Faith, or Symbol of Faith, which w\as issued by the 
holy Nicene fathers. For it is not allowable to us, or to 
any one else, to cliange even one word there placed, nor do 
we allow one syllable to be passed over, mindful of the 
saying : ' Do not cross the limits placet! by the fathers.' 
For they did not speak of themselves, but of the very 
Spirit of God the Father, who proceeds indeed from Him ; 

(1) Both generation and procession are, in tlie Trinitv, eternal, for tlie Son and tlie Holy are eo-eternal with till' Fattier. lintli are necessary, not i-onliii^'ent, for neeessity 
of beinK Is an attrllmte of tlie Divinity. Uoili the ,S(in and the Holy (iliost are iuseparalily 
united to the Father. lliouRh really distinct from Him ; lience. in the Trinity, both jrenera- 
tion and procession have notliin),' in coiumou with the phllosopliic conception of "emana- 
tion " of spirits. 

(•i) EiiiMlciif Jolin of Aittioch. 


the Spirit, however is not foreign to the Son, for so com- 
mands the nature of the Essence." They also cite the 
commands of the Council of Chalcedon, as declaring that 
the Creeds of Nice and Constantinople are sufficient, and 
prohibiting any additions to these. And lest they should 
be told that here only such addition is meant as would in- 
volve an alteration of meaning, the schismatics quote the 
following words, pronounced when, in the Second Session, 
the fathers of Chalcedon had been asked for a Professsion of 
Faith plainly agreeing with, but verbally differing from, the 
Symbols of Nice dud Constantinople : " No one makes an- 
other Exposition. We do not try, nor do we dare, to present 
one. For the fathers have taught, and their teachings are 
preserved in writing, and we can say nothing further. . . . 
this we all say, that what has been explained is sufficient ; 
it is permitted to make no other Exposition. . . .Let the say- 
ings of the fathers be held.' And, further, contended the 
Greeks, even Pope Yigilius (1) anathematized those " who 
presume to teach or explain, or to give to the saints of the 
Church of God, any other Symbol " than the Constantino- 
politan. And Pope Agatho, in an Epistle to the emperor, 
read in the Sixth General Council, declares : " We preserve 
those doctrines of the delivered Faith v/hich have been reg- 
ularly defined by our holy Apostolic predecessors, and 
by the five venerable Councils ; desiring, and being stu- 
dious of one principal good, namely, that in what has been 
regularly defined nothing be withdrawn, changed, or added, 
but that it be preserved the same in meaning and in word." 
Finally, the Seventh General Council, after its Definition 
of Faith, exclaimed : " We preserve the laws of the fathers ; 
we anathematize those who add or withdraw anything." 
Such were the arguments adduced in the Council of Florence 
by the famous Mark of Ephesus, to whom, more than to any 
other one man, is due the perpetuation of the Greek schism. 
In defending the propriety, nay, the necessity of the use 
of Filioque, better arguments cannot be used than those 
adopted by Andrew, archbishop of Rhodes (2), who, in 

(1) Epistle to Entychius of Constantinople. 

(2) Sometimes styled *' archbishop of Colossus, " to distinguish him from the Greek 
metropolitan of the island. 


the 6tli Session of the Florentine Council, thus pressed 
his adversary. The insertion of the clause " and from 
the Son " in the Creed is not, properly speaking, an ad- 
dition, but an explanation. The phrase " and from the 
Son " was already implicitly contained in the " from the 
Father." If every explanation constitutes an addition, then 
there have been many additions made to the Scriptures, for 
the Nicene fathers inserted the word " Consubstantial " in 
their exposition of the Scriptures, and nevertheless Gregory 
of Nazianzen, writing to Cledonius, denies that any addition 
was made (1). The fathers of Constantinople added to, or 
explained, what those of Nice had written ; these latter had 
not said " of all things visible and invisible, " nor had they 
used the phrase " true God of true God, " nor that styling 
" the Holy Ghost the Lord and Life-giver." Notwithstand- 
ing these explanations, the fathers of Constantinople did 
not think they had made any " additions ' to the Creed of 
Nice. Again, where the Nicene Council said, " Born of the 
Father, " that of Chalcedou said, " Consubstantial to the 
Father, according to the Deit}', and Consubstantial to us, 
according to the Humanity, " for such explanation was 
ma:le necessary by the Eutychian heresy. And even Mark 
of Ephesus, when he was asked why the Ephesine prelates 
made mention only of the Nicene Creed, ignoring apparently 
the Constantinopolitan, gave as a reason that "they are 
one and the same " ; therefore, even according to this 
schismatic leader, an insertion made in the Creed for the 
sake of explanation is not, properly speaking, an addition. 
Now, that the clause " And from the Son " is simply an 
explanation of that " from the Father, " Andrew of Ehodes 
proved by many testimonies of Greek fathers. Again, the 
authority of the Church is and will be always the same as 
it was in the beginning, and if it was ever permitted to the 
Church to add new words and phrases to the Creed, for the 
sake of more efficaciously contradicting new heresies as 
they arose, that is allowable now, and ever will be. In the 

(1) "We have not added, and we eoiild not add, anything to the Faltli wliidi the hulv 
fathers of Nice put forth in condcmtiation of the Arlaii heresy ; hut we hold iiml will hold 
that .<iaiii<>. more clearly explaitiiiiir what was less fully declared couceniirn; the Holy 
(Jtiost. For as yet that question had not heeii moved." 


'7th Session, the archbishop observed that, as everything be- 
h)nging to any science is implicitly contained in the principles 
of that science, so, though not explicitly, the Creed implicitly 
contains the entire doctrine of Christianity. No heresy has 
yet been born, or can be excogitated, which is not implicitly 
condemned in the Creed. As the Nicene Council issued its 
Creed as a basis of Faith, it was necessary that it should be 
affected by no change ; in sciences, conclusions may be 
affected, principles never. But the Gospel contains the 
perfect doctrine, and yet both the Greek and Latin fathers 
have explained it. The Council of Chalcedon implied a 
future necessity of explanatory additions to the Creed when 
it said that " for a full knowledge and confirmation of 
religion, it might suffice, etc." It did not say " it suffices," 
for the advent of new heresies renders it incumbent upon 
the Church to make new explanations. 

The great Bessarion, then archbishop of Nice, having 
forcibly opposed the use of the disputed clause, though he 
did not deny the doctrine, was refuted in the 10th Session by 
John, bishop of Forli. There are three kinds of addition 
to the Creed, said this prelate ; the first adds what is con- 
trary, the second what is diffeient, the third what agrees 
with the subject treated. The first is the addition of error, 
e. fj., if one were to say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from 
no one. The second is an addition made by the rash, who 
are fond of modes of expression unknown to the Church, e. 
g., if one were to stj'le the Father a geometer, the Son an 
astronomer, the Holy Ghost an arithmetician. The third 
is the addition of Catholics, e. g., as when they say that the 
omnipotent Father is eternal, the consubstantial Son is 
co-eternal, the proceeding Holy Ghost is breathed forth. 
The clause " and from the Son " is not contrarv to the one 
" from the Father, " nor does it import any different idea ; 
it agrees with it. Hence, as the AjMsfle^s' Creed was not 
violated at Nice by the insertion of the clause declaring 
the procession from the Father, so the Nicene Creed was 
not violated in after time when the Church indicated by ex- 
press words her faith in the procession also from the Son. 
An ecclesiastical ordinance, concluded the bishop of Forli, 


must be understood according to the mind of its promulga- 
tors, and the 1st Session of the Ephesine Council shows us 
that the fathers designed merely to prohibit any addition to 
the Symbol which would be contrary to the Nicene doctrines. 
The bishops said : " Let the Exposition of the Nicene fathers 
be read, that we may compare the discourses on faith with 
it ; let those be received which agree with it, and let those 
be rejected which differ from it." Then the Nicene Creed 
was read, and afterwards the epistle of St. Cyril to Nes- 
torius ; the fathers found them concordant. Then the 
epistle of Nestorius to St. Cyril was read, and the Council 
pronounced it contrary to the Symbol of Nice. It is evident, 
therefore, that the Synod of Ephesus did not intend to 
command the rejection of any and every other exposition of 
faith, but only such as were contrary to received doctrine. 

In the Eleventh Session of the Council of Florence car- 
dinal Julian Cesarini illustrated this subject by an account 
of the circumstances in which the objected decree of Ephe- 
sus was issued. Charisius, a priest of Philadelphia, had 
complained that one James, a Nestorian emissary, had 
attacked his doctrine ; and the Profession of Faith of Chari- 
sius and that of James, which had been written by Anasta- 
sius and Photius, two disciples of Nestorius, were both read 
to the Council. That of Charisius was found to be accord- 
ing to neither the Symbol of Nice nor that of Constantinople 
(1), and yet, after the passing of the decree of prohibition, 
when the Council condemned the Nestorian document, no 
mention whatever was made of the Profession of Charisius. 
The Council did not intend, therefore, to condemn a difterent 
Exposition, providing it agreed with the Symbol of Nice. 
The same Cesaiini also drew the attention of the Greek 
synodals at Florence to the conduct of the Council of 
Chalcedon in reference to the decree of Ephesus. The 
reader will remember that after the condemnation of Euty- 
ches, in 448, by a Constantinopolitan Synod held under 
Flavian, the heresiarch appealed to Pope St. Leo the Great ; 

(1) In the Exposition of Charisius were wantlnjzr the words "those who say: ' there was 
a time when He was not,' " which are found In the N'ioenc SinnhnJ. But it contained the 
clause "And in the Holy Ghost, consubstantial to the Father and to the Son," which is 
wanting In both the Nicene and Constautinoixilitan Crmls. 


but knowing that he could expect no support from the Holj 
See, he prevailed upon Theodosius to convoke the " Robber- 
Synod " of Ephesus, in -I'lO, in which, in defiance of the 
remonstrances of the Papal legates, he was declared ortho- 
dox. In this assembly, Eutyches professed the Nicene Creed 
and, as we read in the Acts, he said : " This is the faith of 
the fathers, and in it I wish to live and die." But, as the 
Nicene Faith was confirmed by the Council of Ephesus, and 
this latter prohibited the profession of any other Faith than 
that of the former Council, decreeing that nothing should 
be added or withdrawn, he therefore said : "I hold the 
right faith ; Flavian, however, does not hold it, since he 
asserts that Christ is in and from two natures, while the 
Nictne Symbol does not say this." After this declaration of 
Eutyches in the "Robber-Synod," Eusebius of Dorylaeum 
cried out in reference to the allegation of the Ephesine 
decree, " He lies ; there is no such canon." The usurping 
president, Dioscorus, replied : " Why do you say there is 
no such canon ? We have two codices, in both of which is 
read that it is not permissible to add anything to the Nicene 
SyniboV Then Dioscorus passed sentence of deposition 
against Flavian and Eusebius for their " violation of the 
Ephesine decree." Now, said cardinal Julian, when these 
transactions were narrated in the Council of Chalcedon, the 
fathers exclaimed : " Anathema to Dioscorus, who wickedly 
judged ; let him this hour be condemned." Then the Coun- 
cil rescinded all the acts of the " Robber-Synod," declaring 
that Flavian had not violated the Ephesine canon, because, 
although the clause " from two, and in two Natures " is not 
explicitly contained in the Nicene Creed, yet it is not con- 
trary to that Symhol Therefore, concluded Cesarini, the 
Latins are not to be condemned for inserting the clause 
" and from the Son " in the Symhol, as it implies nothing 
contrary to the Definitions of Nice or of any otlier Councils. 
The schismatic portion of the Greek Church has always 
contended that no addition to the Creed should be under- 
taken without its consent. But, as the same schismatics 
avowed in the Council of Florence, the Roman Pontiff is 
the Pastor and Doctor of the whole Church ; therefore he 


may defiue what is of faith. But even thongh the Pope 
coukl not defiue doctrines of faith without a Council, it does 
not follow, according to the Greeks' own principles, that 
they should be consulted before every addition to the 
St/nihoL They admitted, in the olden days of unity, that a 
small number of bishops, if convoked in Council and con- 
firmed by the Pontiff, was sufficient to pronounce in matters 
of faith. They used to hold that the value of a Council did 
not arise from the multitude or diverse nationality of its 
members, but rather from their connection with the Chair 
of Peter. The Council of Kimini was composed of 600 
bishops, Greeks and Latins, or rather Easterns and Wes- 
terns, and simply because it was rejected by Eome, both 
East and West condemned it. The second Council, first of 
Constantinople, was composed of only 150 bishops, and all 
of them Easterns, and yet, because it was confirmed by 
Pope Damasus, it was received as (Ecumenical. Again, 
even though the Pontiff were not the " bishop of the first 
see," but a mere patriarch, like him of Alexandria or him of 
Constantinople, the Greeks should not have complained of 
the addition of the Filhqne. If the question is merely rit- 
ualistic, certainly the introduction of a simple rite ought 
not to cause a schism. If the question, however, is one of 
faith, we answer that it is not certain that they were not 
consulted ; just as we do not know how or when the addi- 
tion was first made, so we do not know whether or not the 
Greeks had anything to do with it. But even though they 
were not consulted, could they not remember the many in- 
stances of condemnation of heresy by particular Synods, 
Avhich were nevertheless not followed by schism on the part 
of those who were not called? Paul of Samosata was con- 
demned by the little Council of Antioch ; Macedonius was 
condemned by the Second Council, in which there was not 
one Latin bishop ; Pelagius was condemned by provincial 
Synods ; Nestorius was condemned at E])hesus before the 
arrival of the Latins. And finally, the Greeks were called 
again and again in Council, and the question was proposed 
and discussed in their presence. If they were not called 
in the beginning, we may snv with St. Augustine, wlu. thus 


tinswerecl the Pelagians who demanded a General Council, 
that every heresy ought not necessarily to trouble all the 
countries of the earth. And if General Councils were 
afterwards called, it was to satisfy the Greeks, not because 
said assemblies were necessary. St. Bonaventure assigns 
-as another reason the small number of learned men among 
ihe Greeks of those days. 

Protestant authors quite naturally blame the Holy See 
for its course throughout this controversy, but it is easy to 
show that no blame can with justice be laid at the doors of 
Eome. Whenever the question of reunion between the 
East and West has been agitated, the principal stress of 
argument has been laid upon the doctrine of the Proces- 
sion of the Holy Ghost. Pope Benedict XIV. (1) says the 
whole question may be reduced to three points : " Firstly, 
whether it is a dogma of faith that the Holy Ghost pro 
ceeds from the Father and the Son .... Secondly, whether, 
granted that it is a dogma, it was allowable to add 
io the Creed the clause obnoxious to the Greeks .... 
Thirdly, whether, granting these two points, it could be 
allowed to the Orientals to recite, during the Mass, the 
ancient Constantinopolitan Creed, that is, without any intro- 
duction of the disputed words." As for the first point, the 
Holy See has always taught that it is a dogma of Catholic 
faith that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and 
the Son, and that hence no one can be regarded as a Catho- 
lic who does not accept that doctrine. The second point is 
equally sure. As for the third. Pope Benedict shows by 
many examples that the Holy See has varied its instruc- 
tions according to circumstances : " At times the Apostolic 
See I: as permitted the Orientals and Greeks to recite the 
Creed without the FiHogue, that is, when it was sure that 
they received the first two points, or articles, and when it 
knew for certain that a denial of this greatly-desired favor 
would prove an obstacle to union. Sometimes, however, 
the clause was made obligatory, because it was asserted 
that the Holy Ghost did not proceed aho from the Son, or 
because it was denied that the Church had the- right tc 

(1) BuUarium, vol. iv-. Const. 47. n. 30. 


introduce the Filioque." Permission to abstain from the 
use of the clause was accorded to the Greeks by Gregory 
X., in the Council of Lyons ; by Eugene I\"., in the Council 
of Florence ; by Clement VIII. (1); and by Benedict XIY. (2). 
These two last Pontiffs decreed that the permission should 
not be used if there were danger of scandal, or if " in any 
particular place, the custom of reciting the Filioque had 
been already introduced, or if it were deemed necessary to 
recite it as a test of right faith." In the year 1278, Pope 
Nicholas III., having learned that the Greeks had forgotten 
their promises to Gregory X., ordered that the recitation of 
the clause should be exacted. Martin IV. and Nicholas IV., 
having doubted whether certain Oriental peoples held the 
orthodox doctrine on the Procession, also commanded as a 
test that they should recite the Filioque. Benedict XIV. 
tells us (3) that " when Pope Calixtus III. sent the Domini- 
can friar, Simon, as inquisitor into Crete, into which island 
many Greek refugees had come, owing to the Turkish con- 
quest of two years before, he ordered him to be careful 
that said Greeks recited the Symbol with the addition of 
Filioque, probably suspecting that they, being fresh from. 
Constantinople, were careless as to that dogma of faith." 


The False Decretals of Isidore Mercator. 

Towards the close of the ninth century there appeared, 
under the name of Isidore Mercator (4), a Collection of Can- 
ons which for several centuries undeservedly enjoyed a 
reputation for authenticity, not only in the West, but also 
in the East. (5). After the Preface, this Collection gives 
the order for celebrating a Council, then the first 50 Apos- 

(1) Bullarium, vol. ill.. Const. 34, § G. 

(2) His liuUarhiin ; Co/ixf. '' Althuu(jh Pastoral,'" vol. \.. ^1. 
(31 l}>i<l. 

(4) I)e ^[a^(•a (Concord, h. 3, c. 5) insists that the best codices present the name as 
Pcccator. i?iit ZncrATia, (Anti-Feh.. <li.-<s. 3, c. 3) relyinp upmi the Vatican codex. No. 
6:j0 ; that of I'aris, mentioned by Hardouin ; the Modenese ; and tlie atUhoritv C)f Ivo ; reads 
** T^-.irator. 

-7 N'icephorus (KccL HM., h. 4. c 59) cites the letters of Antherus and Calixtus, al- 
"<« '.'ih be mistakes Coelestine for Calixtus. 


'tolic Canons, then the Epistles of the Pontiffs from St. 
■Clement down to Sylvester, then the Decrees of Nice, then 
those of other Councils, and finally the Decretals of other 
Pontiffs, down to St. Gregory the Great. In this Collection, 
four classes of monuments are to be distinguished : First, 
the Genuine, namely, the Decretals taken from the Dionys- 
ian Codex. Second, the Supposititious, composed by the 
Mercator, whoever he was ; that is, nearly all the Epistles 
of the Pontiffs down to Siricius, and many of those from 
•Siricius down to St. Gregory the Great ; the Acts of a 
Eoman Synod under Julius ; and the Acts of the 5th and 
j6th Eoman Synods under Symmachus. Third, the Apo- 
cryphal, which, though forged long before his time, this 
■enterprising canonist placed in his Collection ; Fourth, the 
Inierpolated, or those which are corrupted by Isidore's ad- 
ditions. Thus, among the Interpolated, are to be classed 
the two last chapters of the Epistle of Pope Yigilius to 
Profuturus (by error of the copyist, written " Euterius "). 
In the twelfth century Peter Comestor, a canon of Paris, 
seems to have doubted the value of the Isidorian Collection, 
but the first writer to render its position insecure was the 
■Cardinal De Cusa, in the fifteenth century. (1). The great 
Erasmus also had his doubts of its authenticity. The Cen- 
turiators of Magdeburg having spent much labor in attack- 
ing the dogmatic value of the Collection, Francis Turriano, 
S. J., published at Florence, in 1572, a defence of the Apos- 
tolic Canons and of the Pontifical Decretals ; but his work 
<:lid not help the Collection to hold the esteem of Baronio, 
Bellarmine, Du Perron, Sirmond, and other learned men. 
Anthony A.ugustinus, archbishop of Tarascon, proved that 
many passages were taken from the Theodosian Codex, 
which was written two or three centuries after the time of 
ihe Pontiffs to whom said passages were ascribed. In the 
year 1627, the celei rated Calvinist, David Blondel, published 
a defence of the Centuriators of Magdeburg (2), in which he 
displayed as much critical acumen in his arguments, as he 
•did temerity in claiming to be the first exposer of the for- 

(1) Catholic Concordance, h. 3, c. 2. 

(2) The False Isidm-e and Turriano Chastised. 


gery. The cudgels were then taken up for the Mercator by 
the Franciscan theologian, Malvasia, in a book published at 
Piome, in 1635, (1) and by the Cardinal Aguirre. (2). But 
soon there were few left to defend a cause opposed by such 
critics as De Marca, Lupus, Baluz, Noris, Schelestrate, 
Labbe, Papebroch, the two Pagi, Alexandre, Constant, Bor- 
toli, and the Balleriuis. In this agreement of great critics, 
however, justly observes Zaccaria, we should not despise 
the following gentle, but wise, remark of the Franciscan 
writer, Bianchi (3) : " I know that Turriano, having well 
defended these ancient Epistles from a dogmatic point of 
view, from which they were attacked by the Centuriators, 
and accused of errors against faith and sound doctrine, has, 
on the other hand, left them exposed to the censure of 
sharper critics. TLese have noticed the puerile solecisms,, 
the forbidden barbarisms, and the gross anachronisms, 
which are constantly met in these Epistles. ... I know 
also that Severino Binio vainly tried to cleanse them of 
these stains^., that they might appear to belong to the 
authors to whom they are ascribed. However, if we wish 
to judge correctly in this matter, we must observe several 
things. . . . Although these Epistles, as they have come 
to us through the Collection of Isidore, are not to be as- 
cribed to the reputed authors by any judicious person, 
both because of the adduced reasons and for others, nev- 
ertheless, their indelible stains do not prove that they 
were all invented m later times, and that the subjects 
treated were not treated by those venerable Pontiffs. It is- 
merely shown that some impostor has {nterpolafe<i them." (4). 
To this day critics dispute as to the author of the false 
Decretals. Some say that under the name of Isidore 3Jer- 
cafor or Peccntor is hidden the identity of St. Isidore of 
Seville ', others think that another Spanish Isidore was the 
author ; some ascribe the Collection to Otgar, archbishop 
of Mentz ; others again opine that it was compiled by 

(1) Messenger of Truth to BlomJel. 

(2) Collectdon of Spanish dnmcih. 

(3) External Policy of the Church, h. It., c. 3, 8 5, no. .. 

(4) See the erudite work of the Ballerinis on the Collections of Canons, p. 3, c. 6, § 3, la- 
which all the documents of the Isidorlan Codex, whether genuine, spurious, or interpolated, 
are accurately examined. Also, Marchetti's Commeiitaru nn the Historu of Fleurji, an(V 
Wasskksciilkben's False Decretals of Isidore. 


Ebron, archbishop of Rheims, assisted by Rotharius of 
Soisson, and the canon Wulfad ; others finally deem it the 
work of a certain Benedict the Levite, a cleik of Mentz, who 
wrote some false Capitulars in the ninth century. Certainly, 
the Collection did not issue from Rome, as Febronius 
malignantly contended. While Charlemagne was besieging 
Pavia, Pope Adrian I. g ive him the famous Collection of 
Canons, commonly callel the Adrian, and this was simplj 
the Collection of Dionysius the Little, with a few additions 
at the end. Even during the reign of Leo IV., 847-858, the 
Isidorian Collection was unknown, for this Pontiff, in a 
letter to the Britons (1), describing the Collection used in 
Rome, speaks only of the Dionysian. Had Isidore con- 
sulted the Romans, says Coustant, (2), they would willingly 
have given him access to their archives, where he would 
have found genuine monuments with which to enrich his 
Collection. Febronius quotes Barthel, chancellor of the 
iiniversity of Wittemberg (1762), as saying that the Isidorian 
Codex was foisted upon the Church by Pope Nicholas L 
and was brought into Germany by Reginulph, archbishop 
of Mentz. Now Reginulph died in 814, thirty-two years 
before the Isidorian Collection saw the light. As for Pope 
Nicholas I , when, in 858, he had occasion to cite certain 
Decretals in the cause of Photius, he did not quote those of 
Evarist, Alexander, Sixtus, etc., (in the Isidorian,) although 
he did quote other apocryphal documents, such as the 
Synod of Sylvester, the Sinuessan, etc., from other Collec- 
tions. Had he known of these reputed Decretals, and 
deemed them of value, he would not have failed to use them. 
And in his letter to Hincmar, confirming the Synod of 
Soissons, he shows that as yet he knew nothing of the 
Isidorian Codex. For, assigning the sources from which 
the Roman Church drew its discipline, he mentions only the 
Councils and Epistles found in the Collection of Dionysius. 
(3). However, Pope Nicholas I. was made acquainted with 
the Collection of Isidore, and it was through the French 
bishops that he learned of its existence, they having cited 

(1) In Gratian, (list. CO, c. 1. (2) Preface to Epist. Rom Pont., n. 156- 

(3) Epist. 38, In Baronio, year 863. 


it when it suited their convenience. " It is probable, " says 
Zaccaria, (1), '' that he (Nicholas) had a copy brought from 
France, and that he cited it against the bishops who alleged 
its authority. But he found that they rejected it when 
they found it favorable to the Apostolic See ; and he reason- 
ably complains of this inconsistency, (2). And as they, in 
rejecting it, fell back upon the Adrian Codex, in which were 
wanting the authorities, he undertakes, I say with Noel 
Alexandre, to refute this weak reasoniug, and argues witli 
them ad Jiominem, that nevertheless they received the letters 
of St. Gregor}" and others, which were not in the Codex of 
Adrian. Here we must observe that this letter of Nicholas 
was sent to France in 865, the same year that he sent the 
eighth letter to the emperor Michael. And although in that 
letter he proves at length the prerogatives of his See against 
the wicked Photius, he adduces none of the Isidorian 
Decretals, but principally relies upon the undoubted epistles 
of Pope Gelasius. Why this difference in two letters of the 
same year ? He mistrusted the authority of the Isidorian 
Collection, but used it against the French prelates, because 
tliev had cited it. . . . This is all that Nicholas did for the 
Decretals of Isidore. ... In the language of Barthel and 
Febronius, this is forcing the world to accept the Decre- 
tals." (3). 

With regard to the Collection of Isidore, the following 
things are to be remembered. First, there is notliing in it 
contrary to faith or morals ; otherwise, it would not have 
been received by the whole Church for nearly seven cen- 
turies. Second, as we have already observed, it was issued 
without any consent or connivance of the Koman Pontiffs. 
Third, the privileges of the Holy See are not founded, as 
modern heretics have asserted, upon it. Fourth, there is no 
reason for the complaint made by De Marca, Basnage, Fleu- 
ry, and others, that by the introduction of this Collection 
the ancient discipline of the Church was abrogated, and an 
entirely new one adopted ; for many of Isidore's monu- 
ments are extracted from Conciliary Canons, genuine Pon- 

(1) Anti-Frh., dixx. .3, c. 3, m. .5. 

(2) Epint. 47, to tltr BiKhoim of France. 

(3) The reader wlio is anxious for more informatioa on this point will be abundantly 
grutifled in Zaccaria's vuliial)l(' work, Ini-. rit. 


tifical Constitutions, and opinions of tlie Fathers, while the 
rest show the discipline obtaining before the time of Isi- 
dore. As the Ballerini brothers remark, the impostor 
would have been a fool if he expected his Collection to be 
received by men among whom he was introducing, as our 
adversaries assert, a new and abhorrent discipline. But no 
clamor was raised, no murmurs heard, because of these 
■ apocryphal Decretals, unless on account of those pertaining 
to the causes and judgments of bishops, of which we read 
something in Hincmar and in the Epistles of Nicholas I. 
And that which is given by Isidore with regard to these 
very causes and judgments is not entirely new. The 
canonist, therefore, did not intend to introduce a new 
discipline, but to establish one generally received. (1). 
Fifth, the discipline inculcated by this Collection did not 
obtain the force of law by virtue of itself, but by virtue of 
preceding and subsequent Constitutions, and by force of 
custom, which is quite powerful in disciplinary matters. 

Protestant critics willingly admit that the Decretals of 
the Pontiffs contained in the Isidorian Collection, down to 
Siricius, are supposititious ; they would gladly say the same 
of all the others. Centuries have passed since a Catholic 
author of note has defended their authenticity. Neverthe- 
less, a brief rehearsal of th© arguments by which the 
supposititiousness of these documents is evinced will not be 
out of place. The student will bear in mind that there is 
no question of the Epistles of St. Cornelius, which are 
found among the works of St. Cyprian. Nor is there any 
doubt about the Epistles of Julius I., which are given by 
St. Athanasius, in his Second Apology. Authenticity is vain- 
ly claimed for such Epistles as are found in the Fragments 
of St. Hilary (2) ; but the Epistles of Damasus to the 
Illyrian Bishops, which Theodoret records, and also the 
other Epistles of Damasus given by St. Jerome, are 
authentic. The mark of spuriousness is affixed to the 
five Epistles ascribed to St. Clement, to three of Anacletus, 
two of Evarist, three of Alexander, two of Sixtus L, one of 
Telesphorus, two of Hyginus, four of Pius L, one of Anice- 

(1) D(ELLINGER; Eccl. Hist., ep. iii., c. 4. (2) See our Chapter on Liberius, vol. 1., p. 224. 

96 STUDIES i:; church history. 

tus, two of Soter, one of Eleutlierius, four of Victor, two of 
Zephyrinus, two of Calixtus T., one of Urban I., two of 
Pontian, one of Anterus, three of Fabian, three of Corne- 
lius, one of Lucius, two of Stephen I., two of Sixtus II., two 
of Dionysius, three of Felix I., two of Eutychian, one of 
Caius, two of Marcellinus, two of Marcellus I., three of 
Eusebius, one of Melchiades, one of Sylvester, one of Mark 
(supposed to be to Athanasius), two of Julius I., two of 
Liberius, two of Felix II., and several of Damasus. That 
all of these Isidorian documents are supposititious, the best 
critics have decided, impelled by the following reasons ; 
First, the Pontiffs who preceded Siricius could have had no 
knowledge of St. Jerome's Vulgate, and these letters as- 
cribed to those Popes frequently quote the Scriptures ac- 
cording to that version. (1). Second, during the first eight 
centuries, these documents are cited by no Council, by nO' 
Pontiff, by no ecclesiastical writer. Had they been genuine,, 
they would not have been ignored by such writers as St. 
Jerome and Photius, or b}^ sucn Pontiffs as SS. Innocent 1. 
and Leo I. Third, these Epistles are silent as to the here ■ 
sies of the first centuries, as to the persecutions, etc. ; it is-- 
incredible that genuine works of those days would not even 
touch upon such topics. Very different is the tenor of th& 
undoubted documents of that period. Fourth, these Isi- 
dorian documents are evidently compiled from epistles, 
decrees, and writings of Pontiffs. Councils, and Fathers of a 
later date than those assigned to them. Those who favored 
the False Decretals answered this argument with the 
assertion that these posterior Pontiffs, Councils, and 
Avriters were acquainted with the documents in question 
and cited them. But the reply is futile, for if these Pon- 
tiffs, etc., had used these documents, they would certainly 
have made good use of the authority of the great names 
they bear, and would not have kept silence, contrary to 
their custom, in regard to so powerful an argument in their 
own favor. Fifth, in the Isidorian monuments there is fre- 

(1) SirJclus mounted the Papal throne in .384. St. Jerome fluished his version of the New 
Testament in -38.5. Of the Old Tcfitament. Job, PdrnJijinwnutti. Ecfh:'iastc.<<, Proxrrtia, 
ami the Cay^tidcwere not translated by hliii until S'.u) ; x\w I'.-:<tltir and Prophets ap- 
peared In X\'i\ the work was completed in 404. See T'itAi.i)''~ Introduction to Sacreif 
Scripture, s«ct. 11., chap. 3, S 3. 


quently a sviblime contempt for dates, especially as to the 
Consular periods, which is a strong argument against their 
authenticity. Sixth, there is a wonderful similarity of 
style in these documents, which would not be observed in 
the works of so many different men of different countries 
and periods. Seventh, the Roman Pontiffs have always 
been men of more than ordinary education, to say the least, 
but the Epistles of this Collection are not only full of bar- 
barisms, but are couched in a style, to use the words of 
Alexandre. " only fit for cooks and hostlers." 

It has been objected that the Church of Rome gave her 
formal approbation to the False Decretals, by receiving the 
celebrated Decree of Gratian, which, to use the words of 
Zaccaria (1), " is altogether made up of Isidorian merchan- 
dise." But it is incorrect to say that the Church absolute- 
ly follows the Decree of Gratian. This Collection of Canons 
was formed, about 1150, by no public authority, but on the 
private responsibility and according to the individual 
judgment of the great Benedictine whose name it bears. 
But did it receive the approbation of the Church ? Some 
authors hold the affirmative, because it has been generally 
used in the schools, and because, they say. Pope Eugene 
III. and Gregory XIII. approved of it. Others, however, 
hold the negative, saying that the Decree is full of errors, 
and denying the approbation of the aforesaid Pontiffs. Of 
the approbation by Eugene III., Trithemius is the sole 
witness, and gives no authentic proof of his assertion ; 
if that approbation had been given, it would have been 
prefixed to some exemplar ot Gratian. As for Gregory XIII., 
in his letters of July 2, 1582, he declares that he took care 
that the Decree should be revised and corrected, but he 
does not even imply any approbation. The Roman Biiofa 
(Cor. Pegna, dec. 480), cited by Vecchiotti (2), says "Nor 
did Gregory XIII. approve as legal the book of Gratian, for 
he only ordered it to be corrected, and to be observed." 
And Pope Benedict XIV. says (3) : "Although it has been 
often corrected by the care of the Roman Pontiffs, the 

(1) Anti-Feh., dinK. iii., r. 3, no. 7. 

(2) Tnatitvtinns of Canon Law, h- i., c. 4, 8 64. 

(3) Diocesan Sunod.b. vii. c. 15, ho. 6. 


Decree of Gratian does not possess the strength and force of 
law ; rather do all agree that whatever it contains has just 
so much of authority as it would have had if it had never 
been inserted in the Collection of Gratian." It is plain, 
then, that the Roman Church did not become responsible 
for the False Decretals by their admission into the Decree 
of Gratian. The Holy See often felt the necessity of re- 
vising the famous Decree, and the learned corrector employed 
by Pope Gregory XIII.. Anthony Augustinus, archbishop 
of Tarascon, in his work entitled Gratian Corrected, gives 
man}' instances where his labor was sadly needed. (1). 

Speaking of Isidore's interpolations, Bianchi says that 
they are indicated by " a constant and ever-same inequality 
and incoherentness of stvle, met with in every case, and 
causing each document to appear difterent from itself : 
which certainly excites a belief that these letters were not 
entirely manufactured, but that, already existing, they re- 
ceived a new dress, according to the depraved taste of the 
artificer." Commenting upon this idea. Zaccaria makes the 
following judicious remarks : " To tell the truth, I am in- 
clined to agree, at least in part, with this erudite writer .... 
I do not understand how, in the part of his Collectioii which 
is given to the Councils, the false Isidore is so religiously 
careful as to give us, saving only some interpolation, merely 
genuine Councils (of which we are sure, from other sources) ; 
only in regard to the Ei^istles of the Roman Pontifi's does he 
assume the most impudent liberty of lying .... There is 
no doubt that mam' monuments were in existence at the 
time of our Isidore, which are now lost. In his Collection 
is found the genuine letter of St. Damasus to Paulinus, 
divided into three, and mixed up with two other apocryphal 
ones. Why did he do this ? We must suppose that he 
found it so divided in the Codex of the Spanish Collection, 
of which he availed himself. And who does not know how 
many Papal Bulls and imperial privileges were preserved in 
the particular churches to wliich they were given, but which 
now would be vainly sought in the Roman or imperial ar- 
chives ? To give an instance well suiting our argument, if 

(1) Thus the very words of ctTtaln IiiipiTlul Laws in the TheiKloslan Code are represented 
as proceeding from PontllTs who lived three centuries before the Code woa Issued. 


Agnello bad not preserved, in his History of the Ravenna 
Bishops, a certain epistle of Pope Felix IV., it would have 
been lost. What we have already said, is confirmed by 
another example. Labbe and others accuse Isidore of forg- 
ing the letters of St. Damasus, St. Leo, and John III., about 
the vice-bishops. (1). Remember, however, that I do not 
deny their spuriousuess. I only say that Isidore did not 
forge them, because not a few years before him. Pope Leo 
III. mentioned them, writing to the French bishops. An- 
other example is the letter of St. Gregory the Great to 
Secundinus. In the MSS. it is very much altered, and is full 
of additions tacked on, by another hand, to the original 
text of the holy Pontiff. Isidore is accused of these inter- 
polations, but wrongfully, because the same text is given 
by Paul the Deacon, who died in 801, long before the pub- 
lication of the Isidorian Collection. From all this I think 
that we may plausibly assume that many of the monuments 
attributed to Isidore were forged or adulterated before his 
time .... I would wish that Isidore should not be charged 
with all these impostures, and principally do I desire that 
the learned would more accurately consider the compilation 
of Isidore, and take courage to separate what is more an- 
cient, and perhaps authentic, from that which is his own, 
or certainly false." 

Who was the author of the False Decretals ? No author 
of repute any longer ascribes them to St. Isidore of Seville. 
As Alexandre, after the Ballerinis, observes, that holy 
doctor could not have been the impostor, for the Collec- 
tion gives Councils of Toledo (6th to the 13tli), and one of 
Braga, which were held after his death. That St. Isidore 
died in 636, the 26th year of Heraclius, we learn from his 
Life, written by his deacon, Redemptus : from Braulio of 
Saragossa (2) ; from Luke of Tay (3), and from Mariana (4). 
The Collection also gives the Acts of the Sixth General 
Council, which was celebrated in 681, or forty-four years 
after St. Isidore's death. We also read in it epistles of 
Popes Gregory II. and III., and of Pope Zachary, who lived 

(1) Chorepiscopi. (3) Bonk Hi, 

(2) Catalogut of the Works of Isidore. (1) Book vi., c 7. 


in the eighth century. Therefore Hincmar of Kheims was 
deceived when he asserted that " Isidore, bishop of Seville, 
collected the Epistles of the Koman Pontiffs from St. 
Clement down to St. Gregory." (1). Cardinals Bona and 
Cenni incline to the belief that St. Isidore was the author 
in question, but they base their opinion only on the testi- 
mony of Hincmar. Some critics have ascribed our Collec- 
tion to some unknown Isidore, also a Spanish bishop. But 
it is incredible that an impostor, such as this writer must 
have been, would have missed the opportunity of glorify- 
ing the importance of his own church and country. Now 
in the Collection there are only one or two Epistles ad- 
dressed to Spanish bishops. Again, down to the time of 
Innocent III (1198—1216) this Collection was unknown in 
Spain, and all of the 9th century MSS. which contain it 
were written in France or Germany, as is shown by the 
characters and other signs. The barbarisms of style also 
indicate that the author was a Franco-German, for impurity 
of diction was as common in the Khine countries at that 
time as it was rare in Spain. Blondel accepts these two 
last reasons for believing the impostor to have been a 
Franco-German, a subject of Charlemagne, and adds an- 
other excellent argument. It is improbable that any resi- 
dent of Spain, then groaning under the terrible oppression 
of the Saracens, would have been inclined, or have found 
the opportunity, to digest and arrange this mass of docu- 
ments. Finally, there are many things in the Collection 
which were evidently extracted from the letters of St. 
Boniface, which is no slight indication that it was prepared 
in that part of Germany which was numbered nmong the 
Gauls. Many critics, and among them the acute Zaccaria, 
believe that Ihe Collection must be ascribed to a cliurch- 
man of Mentz, called Benedict the Levite, who, about the 
year 845, compiled three books of Capitularies of Charle- 
magne and Louis the Compliant (2). 

With regard to the time when the False Decretals were 
given to the world, Febronius insisted that it was about 

(1) EpisU 7, c. 12. 

(2) See ZacCaEIA. loc, Oit. Also. Denziokr'8 Opinions of Uerent ('ritirs <m the Fali^c 
Decrctah of Ixidotr, 


744 tliat Kegiuiilph of Mentz published tliem, thougli they 
must have been written, he said, some time previous. But 
Isidore furnishes us with some Decretals of Popes Urban 
I. and John III., in which are found, word for word, certain 
sentences of the Council of Paris of 829. And Blondel 
•observes that the impostor borrowed, here and there, many 
formulas and phrases from the letter of Jonas of Orleans 
to Charles the Bald. Since, then, this prince ascended the 
throne in 839, the Collection must be of a posterior date. 
In 841 Rabanus dedicated his Penitential to Otgar of Mentz, 
but he makes no allusion to the Isidorian Decretals. For 
these, and other excellent reasons, Zaccaria concludes that 
Benedict the Levite, under the auspices of Otgar of Mentz, 
(d. 847) published the Decretals about the year 846. 

The innovators of modern times, whether of the Re- 
formed, or courtier schools, have always laid great stress 
on the falsity of the Isidorian Decretals, and have contended 
that it was by their means that the power of the Holy See 
was greatly increased, to the detriment of, and in defiance 
of, the ancient discipline of the Church. To mention only 
a few of the leading minds by whom Protestants and other 
innovators are guided in their opinions on this matter, such 
was the theory of Wycliffe, Febronius, the Galilean Fleury, 
the Jansenist Egidius Witte, John Francis Budde, Mosheim, 
Tamburini, Villers, and Potter. Among the many authors 
who have triumphantly refuted this assertion, and success- 
fully proved that all the present prerogatives of the Roman 
See belong to it of divine right, and were always recognized 
by the Universal Church, we may mention as especially 
worthy of consultation, besides the already cited works of 
ihe Ballerinis, Alexandre, Bianchi, Zaccaria, and Marchetti, 
the valuable book of Peter Ballerini entitled Defense of the 
Pontifical Authority against the Work of Justin Febronius ; 
ihe Commentary of Blascus on this subject ; the Disquisitions 
on the Collections of Canons, by Theiner ; Schulte's Manual of 
Canon Laio ; Raima's L'^ctures : Vecchiotti's Institutions of 
Canon Law. Febronius fl) asserts that "with the help of 
Isidore and Gratian, the Roman court succeeded in chang- 

( 1 ) Chap. S, § 5 and 4. 


ing its primatial and patriarchal rif^lits into a kind of 
ecclesiastical monarchy," and that '' the Roman Church 
gained great advantages from the supposed Decretals." 
Fleury (1) says : '' Of all these false documents, the most 
pernicious were the Decretals attributed to the Popes of the 
first four centuries, which inflicted an irreparable wound 
on the discipline of the Church, by the new maxims which 
they introduced regarding the judgments of bishops and 
the authority of the Pope." The Jansenist Witte (2) 
informs us that " Nicholas I., an active man, and very con- 
fident in his combat for a bad cause, defended with his 
whole soul the fictitious and adulterated Epistles, in which 
it was asserted that all ecclesiastical aifairs were subject 
to the Supreme Pontiff, and he himself to no one ; hence a 
man of nice discernment can perceive that this adulter- 
ated merchandise was exposed in the public forum of the 
Church, not without the consent of the Roman court, even 
though we do not call it their parent and author. After the 
days of Nicholas, these deplorable Decretals obtained force 
by degrees, because of the ignorance of those times in 
matters of ecclesiastical history." 

The Protestant professor, John Francis Budde (d. 1729) 
asserts (3) : " The Roman Pontiff Nicholas I., who, as the 
abbot Rhegino says, ' commanded kings and tyrants, as 
though he were the lord of the earth,' as he never lost any 
occasion of augmenting his power, so he took these fictitious 
Epistles, so to say, in both hands, and approved of them, 
and tried to force them upon others, especially in France." 
Mosheim (4) says: "In order that this new code of the 
Church, very different from the old one, might be more 
favorably received, there was need of ancient documents and 
records to establish it, and to defend it against hostile 
attack. Hence the Roman Pontiffs took care to falsify 
compacts. Councils, epistles, and other documents, by means 
of faithful agents, so that it would be believed that in the 
early days of Christianity the Pontiffs enjoyed the same- 

(1) DiscanrgcW. on Ecclrniasticnl HiMnrji. 

(2) Auiiuxt i'l'' "f I'y'cs Vitiilicii'id. i>. '-l, c. 5. 

(3) HMoricii-Tiicohniical IiitrixtuctidH- 

(4) HMory, cent. Ix., p. 2, c. 2, S r. 


power and majesty that they then arrogated to themselves. 
Among these fraudulent supports of the Roman power, al- 
most the first place is held by the Decretals, as they call 
the Epistles of the Pontiffs of the first centuries, which a 
certain obscure person — Isidore Mercator, or Feccator — in- 
vented." To all these assertions we reply with Baronio (1) 
that "even though these Decretals be proved false, the 
Roman Church loses none of her rights and privileges, since, 
even if these documents were wanting, those rights would 
be abundantly sustained by other undoubtedly genuine- 
Decretals." The Calvinist Blondel admits that these De- 
cretals are made up from words and passages which occur 
in Canons, laws, and other writings of the fourth and fifth 
centuries ; he grants therefore that these documents illus- 
trate a discipline which obtained at least at that time. 
This admission of Blondel is noticed by De Marca, who, 
although saturated with Gallicanism, remarks (2), *' I cannot 
agree with him in so atrociously attacking these Epistles, 
which were certainly composed from words and passages of 
ancient laws and canons, and of the holy Fathers who flour- 
ished in the fourth and fifth centuries. 

The Ballerini brothers (3) call our attention to the end 
which Isidore had in view when he issued these Decretals. 
It was to provide for the greater security of bishops, that 
is, to prevent their being frequently cited in judgment by 
the importunate, as he himself explains in the Preface. 
If, therefore, he exalts the Apostolic See, he does so out of 
consideration to the bishops, who would find there a refuge 
from the oppressor. But, retorts Febronius, Isidore does 
glorify the Chair of Peter for this end. We must therefore 
show that this glorification was not unfounded, that it was 
not invented by Isidore. It is not our province, but that of 
the dogmatic theologian, to show that all the prerogatives 
claimed for Rome by these Decretals belong to her by 
divine right, but it is within our sphere to prove that the 
Pontiffs exercised them long before the time of Isidore, and 
that they did so in the face of a willingly obedient Chris- 
tendom. If these Epistles produced an innovation in 

(1) Annals, year 865. (2) Concord, iii., h. 3, c. 5, ho. 1. 

(3) Works of St. Leo, vol. iil. 


discipline, why are there no traces of resistance, why no 
clamorings in defense of the ancient system ? The following, 
a few only of the many proofs which can be adduced, will 
show that Isidore introduced no new discipline when he 
inculcated the supreme jurisdiction of the Eoman PoiitiiF. 
From the first ages of Christianity the Holy See has beer 
accustomed to consider the "greater causes," sent to it from 
all parts of the earth. An instance of this is found in the 
very first century, in the recourse of the Corinthians, be- 
cause of their dissensions, to Pope St. Clement I. St. 
Cyprian (254) is judged by Pope St. Cornelius in the matter 
of reconciling the "fallen." The Council of Sardica (341) 
writes to Pope Julius : " It will be regarded as most proper, 
if the priests refer the affairs of each and every province to 
the Head, that is, to the See of Peter." Celebrated indeed 
is the case of the African Appeals, of which we have fully 
treated. In 378. Peter of Alexandria appealed to Pope 
Damasus, when expelled from his see by Euzoius and the 
emperor Valens. It was in allusion to this case that 
Eutherius and Elladius of Tarsus wrote to Pope Sixtus III. 
(432) : " When of old the tares of heresy arose in Alexan- 
dria, your Apostolic See suflficed to give it the lie for all 
time, and to repress its impiety ; to correct what needed 
correction, and to strengthen the world for the glory of 
Christ, in the time of the thrice-blessed Damasus, who is 
among the saints, and also in the time of other Pontiffs." 
In 381, Istanzius, Salvianus. and Priscillianus, condemned 
by a Synod of Saragossa, appeal to Eome. (1). Famous also 
is the appeal of St. John Chrysostom to Pope Innocent I., 
of which we have already treated. In 422, Perrevius, 
oppressed by the bishops of his province, appealed to Fope 
Boniface, and that Pontift' appointed his vicar, Eufus, to 
judge the case (2). In 430, Pope Coslestine hears tlie cause 
of St. Cyril of Alexandria against Nestorius : " The ancient 
custom of the churches," writes the Alexandrian patriarcli, 
" instructs us to refer such a cause to your Holiness." In 
437. Iddua, bishop of Smyrna, condemned (according to 

(1) SuLPicir.s Sevkrus. HMoni, h. li.. c. 48. 

(2) Ef)M. Horn, f'lmt., ml. i., . . I'i. 


Holstein, who first edited his letter) by Proclus of Con- 
stantinople, or, (as Lupus (1) thinks), by his primate, Basil, 
appealed to Pope Sixtus. In 445 occurred the celebrated 
appeal of Chelidonius, a bishop of the province of Vienna, 
to Pope St. Leo the Great. Deprived of his see in a Synod 
presided over by St. Hilary of Aries, because he was said 
to have married a widow before he became bishop, and be- 
cause, while yet a magistrate, he had condemned a criminal 
to death, he proved his innocence before the Pontiff and 
was restored to his diocese. We have already treated of the 
appeal of Flavian of Constantinople to this Pontiff. In 446, 
Lupicinus, a bishop of Mauritania, being deposed by a 
Synod, appealed to Eome, and was restored. (2). In 483, 
John Talaja, patriarch of Alexandria, persecuted by the 
ambitious Acacius of Constantinople, appealed to Pope 
Simplicius. In 488, the priest Solomon, unjustly degraded 
by Acacius, appealed to Pope Felix IIL and received 
justice. In 531, Stephen of Larissa, metropolitan of Tlies- 
saly, degraded by Epiphanius of Constantinople, appealed 
to Pope Boniface II. In 535, the bishops Sagittarius and 
Salonius, deposed in a Synod of Lyons, went to Eome with 
permission of king Guntran, and appealed to Pope John 
III. In 590, the archbishop of Salona, Natalis. tried to 
disembarrass himself of his archdeacon Honoratus, who 
would not connive at the prelate's convivial habits and his 
using the ecclesiastical revenues to support his relatives. 
He compelled the deacon to receive the priesthood, so that 
he might have a pretext for appointing another archdeacon, 
the discipline of that day not allowing a priest to fill that 
office. Honoratus appealed to Pope Pelagius II., and the 
disputants were summ<^ned to Eome. Natalis delayed, and 
when St. Gregory ascended the throne, he restored Hon- 
oratus to his archdiaconate. In this same year we find a 
case of African clerics appealing in the " first instance," not 
to a Synod, but to the Eoman Pontiff. Tl e Donatists had 
bribed the bishop Argentius to promote certain ones of 
their sect over the heads of orthodox clerics ; Vincent and 

(1) Appeal, f7iss. i., c. 34. 
.(2) Epistles of St. Lei) the Great, edit, by Balberini. ep. 13. 


Felicissimus, deacons, appealed to St. Gregory, and the- 
Pontiff appointed the monk Hilarus as legate to settle the 
affair. (1). The Pontificate of St. Gregory the Great is filled 
with instances of appeals. (2). We abstain from adding to 
the list, for we have adduced enough of examples to show 
that, long before the appearance of the Isidorian Collection, 
the right of the Pioman See to receive appeals, and there- 
fore its supreme jurisdiction, was acknowledged by Chris- 
tendom. Theodoret, bishop of Cyria, writing to St. Leo 
the Great (3j, rightly speaks of the Holy See having 
received appeals in the days of St. Peter, for the Apostle 
Paul, he says, " betook himself to the great Peter for a 
resolution of the doubts which had arisen at Antioch about 
the legal conversation." St. Jerome (4) writes : " When I 
was assisting Damasus, bishop of the Roman city, in his 
ecclesiastical correspondence, and used to answer the 
synodical consaltations of the East and the West, etc." (5). 
The Jansenist abbe, Racine. (6) says that " To realize 
the extent of the evil produced by the False Decretals, one 
must reflect that they established new maxims, and caused 
them to be regarded as of the highest antiquity ; that they 
enfeebled the greater portion of the Canons, and enervated 
all vigor of discipline. The forger, used by the demon to 
inflict so terrible a wound on the Church, knew that it 
Avould be too revolting if he brought forth Canons directly 
contrary to those universally received by the Church ; he 
was contented, therefore, with forging those which only 
sweetened and enfeebled the ancient ones. But that he 
might succeed in his design of entirely changing the dis- 
cipline, he made a flank movement, which was an infinite 
extension of! the appeals to the Pope." In commenting 
upon this assertion, which is also made by Fleurv and 
FebroniuaJ, Zaccaria (7) observes that Isidore could not 
have been such a simpleton as to fail to perceive that the 

(1) E)Jiftlss of St. Grtiiiiru, h. 1, cp. 82. 

CD See Zaccaria's Aiiti-Feh., p. 2, b. 3, c. 6. 

(o) Epiaths of St. Lio, vi>l. 1., ep. 52. 

(4) V:i:i, ti> Adcnuhid. 

(5) See Hki.i.armink, linin. I'tiiit., ?». 2, c. 24; Cappello's ^/rican Appeals to the 
Roman Church ; Hoixjeni's Kpi-icopacjiy li. 4, c. 3. 

(6) rirflcctUni,^ on the State of the Church. 

(7) Aiiti-Fcb., diss, lii., c, 5, no. 3. 


introduction of a new discipline would injure his design of 
sustaiaing the episcopal dignity against its oppressors. 
Innovations generally give rise to tumult : and how great a 
disturbance was to be feared, if he undertook to substitute 
a new discipline for one established by well-known laws, 
and confirmed by the use of centuries and the consent of 
the whole Church ? But there was no disturbance, no 
resistance against this "new discipline ; " Hincmar and his 
partisans made some clamor, but they opposed only what 
pertained fco the causes and judgments of bishops. And 
here we would notice the remark of Papebroch (1), that 
the doctrine contained in the False Decretals was sound, 
and precisely therefore the forgery was undiscovered. " In 
those days, ' says Zaccaria, " there was a lack of that criti- 
cal tact which could distinguish the styles of various 
authors, examine dates, and compare texts ; but there was 
(which only a heretic will deny) the discernment necessary 
to judge of doctrine. Therefore the easy reception of the 
Isidorian Collection is an invincible proof that its doctrine 
was not contrary to the ancient Canons." We need not 
sympathize therefore, with the tears of Fleury when he 
laments the halcyon days of the ancient Church. Erasmus 
was well satisfied with the discipline of the Church of his 
day, in spite of the False Decretals ; so much so, indeed, 
that he must have disappointed those who were hoping 
that he would join the " Reformers," when he said that " if 
St. Paul were living to-day, he would not disapprove of the 
present state of the Church." (2) 


The Eucharistic Doctrine in the Tenth Century. 

Protestant authors have not hesitated to assert that it 
was only in the tenth century that the Eucharistic belief 
took the form in which it is now presented by the Catholic 
•Church. The invention of Transubstantiation is attrib- 

(1) Preface in Conat. Catal. Pont, n. 14. 

(2) Letter written in 1529 against the False Evangelists. 


iited by Claude, La Eoque, Moslieim, and a host of modenv 
imitators, to Pascliasius Radbertus, a Benedictirie monk of 
Corbie, who died in the year 860. The innovating doc- 
trines of Paschasius, contend these polemics, were energeti- 
cally combated by Ratramn (Bertram). Eabaniis Maurus,. 
Amalarius, Scotus Erigena, Heriger, and other defenders of 
the primitive purity of Christian dogma; but, nevertheless, 
the new opinions spread during the fearful darkness of the 
ninth and tenth centuries, and finally were adopted by the 
magistracy of the Church. 

It is not our purpose to enter into any details in order tO' 
show that the Eucharistic doctrine underwent no change in 
the tenth century ; that Ratramn, Rabanus, etc.. did not 
combat the doctrine of Transubstantiation ; that there was, 
between these writers and Paschasius, no difference of be- 
lief as to the Real Presence, but merely a difference as to 
the way of explaining that Presence. Catholic polemics 
have clearly proved that Ratramn and all the other cited' 
authors, with the sole possible exception of Scotus Erigena, 
(1) were as firm in their recognition of the Real Presence as 
was Paschasius himself (2) ; and in our remarks on the 
faith of the early Irish and Saxon churches we have had 
occasion to cite many testimonies of dates greatly anterior 
to the period of Paschasius, which plainly show the falsity 
of the assumption that this writer was the inventor of the 
theory of Transubstantiation. Nor is it our province to 
further develop this point. Nevertheless, we venture upon 
a few reflections. Paschasius tells the king that his book- 
on the Bo-hj arid Blood of the Lord, was written for the in- 
struction of the newly converted Saxon youth, and through- 
out the work there is preserved that even and assured tone' 
of possession which naturally pervades a treatise, the ar- 
guments of which are contradicted by none. There is 

(1> John, called Scotus Kriirciiii. oi- the Irisliniaii. seems to have lieen a laynian ; for no 
coiiteinporai-y speaks of hiiu as liein^'- in ofders or iu any feliKious I'oiiiiniinity. He enjoyed 
the favor of Chaiies tlie Bald, liiit liis Willi and daiiL'eroiis. and e\'eii heretical, oiiinions 
caused I'o|ie Nicholas I. to reiniest that niiiiiarch to remove him fiom the imperial court. 
His hf)ok on l'r(<tistiiiiil idii was condemned iiy the ihii'd Svnod of Valence, that asseinhlv 
styling? it a cullectiou of " silly little (piestions atid old women's fables— an Irish stiralKiut— 
Scotiirum iniltcx." His work on TJir Xntmts was coixlenmed hv I'ope Honorins HI. 
The book on the Kiicharist, which wUvS proscrihed at Vercelli, and is attributed to Eriirena> 
was undoubtedly heretical, but it is not certain that he was its author. Hincniar tells us, 
in his I'rcitcsliiiiitioii. c. .'^l. that in this book it was asseited that "the Sacrament of. 
the Altar is not the true Hody and Hlood ot our Lord, but only a memorial. 

(•■i) ALKXaNDKK, C«/tr. IX., X., (/ins. 13. 


nothing of that apodictical style, of that aggressiveness, 
^vhich generally accompanies controversy, even when un- 
dertaken by the meekest of men. Would such have beea 
his tone, if Paschasius had started with the idea of uproot- 
ing a settled belief of Christendom ? And how is it that 
this presumed innovator, and so startling a one, was so 
universally respected by his contemporaries ? A Council 
oi Paris, in 816, was loud in his praises. Kings Louis, Lo- 
thaire, and Charles loaded him with favors. Engelmod, 
bishop of Soissons, wrote a poem in his honor, and styled 
him " the prop of the Church, the crest of Religion, and the 
buckler of Faith, " saying also of him that he was " not dis- 
graced by a lying simulation of faith, but adorned with a 
strength that was conscious of rectitude." Lupus, abbot 
of Ferrieres, calls him " most beloved, and to be embraced 
by all good men." St. Odo, abbot of Cluny, says of his 
book on the Eucharist that he had collected " from the 
sayings of the Fathers many arguments to inculcate rever- 
ence for the Mystery, and to demonstrate its majesty ; 
which, if read by even a learned man, will give him so 
much knowledge, that he will tliink that until now he ha& 
known little indeed of this Mystery." Would this esteem 
have been felt for an innovator ? Are not Protestants fond 
of describing the miserable position at once secured for 
himself by any Catholic who presumes to leave the beaten 
track, and to follow the path of his own discovery ? Again, 
if at the time that the young monk of Corbie commenced to 
write, the Christian world believed that the Eucharist was 
merely an image of the Body and Blood of the Lord, how 
can the silence of the Christian bishops and doctors of the 
time be explained ? Paschasius himself tells us that no 
one openly contradicted him ; only a few murmured, be- 
cause, as they said, he attributed to the words of Christ 
more than truth warranted. In his old age Paschasius 
wrote to Frudegard on the Eeal Presence : " It is wicked to 
pray with all, and not to believe what is attested by truth 
itself, and universally received as truth , , . . And hence, 
although some have erred through ignorance, no one has 
as yet openly contradicted this, which the whole world be- 


lieves and avows." Let us picture to ourselves a joung 
ecclesiastic of our own day endeavoring to force upon the 
Catholic Avorld a belief that the images of our holv Father, 
Pope Leo XIII., are not mere representations, but really 
and substantially the Pontiff himself. Is it likely that he 
would be esteemed for his learning and sanctity ? But we 
would dwell a moment upon the absurdities of the theory 
advanced b}- our opponents. 

We are asked to believe that during the ninth and tenth 
centuries the faith of the Church underwent a tremendous 
change, and that the ecclesiastical and literary world was so 
supine that it took no notice of the matter. Such indeed 
is the assertion made by Protestant polemics ; and from 
among the scores of noted writers of the lethargic period, 
they bring forth only five who, they say, were awake : and 
of these five not one speaks of the doctrine in question 
as a new one, and only one of them attacks it. At other 
times, when innovations were made in a doctrine, all 
earth was moved against the heretic ; the science of theolo- 
gians, the prayers of the faithful, and, when it could be 
obtained, the aid of the secular power, were brought to 
bear against him. And here, we are told, is a new doctrine, 
calling on men to discredit the evidence of their senses ; to 
regard their philosophy as a mere cobweb of flimsiness ; and 
it triumphs ! Dark indeed would be those days in which 
such a thing could be possible, unless, perchance, they 
were sufficiently illuminated by the preternatural effulgence 
of the genius who could excogitate and actuate such a de- 
sign. However, it is in this very darkness, intellectual and 
moral — which, our adversaries insist, was a characteristic of 
the tenth century, — that we are told to find the key of the 
problem. Well, to convince us of the possibility of so 
stupendous an event, it would be necessary to show that the 
tenth century was darker than any nineteenth-century wor- 
shipper has ventured to depict it. We do not regard the 
tenth as remarkably lustrous among the Christian centuries ; 
and before us now is a passage even of Baronio, wherein 
the great annalist presents it as "iron in its harshness, 
and barren of good ; leaden in the deformity of its evils ; 


obscure by reason of its dearth of authors." (1). And Bel- 
larmine admits that " no century has been more illiterate 
or unhappy ; he who paid attention to mathematics or phi- 
losophy, was regarded as a magician by the common people." 
(2). But we can show that these remarks are to be taken in 
a comparative sense ; that the tenth century was not so de- 
ficient in sanctity and learning as to render at all probable 
our opponents' way of accounting for the progress of the 
tremendous error which, according to them, was propagated 
at that period. Since the days of Bellarmine {oh. 1621j, the 
labors of many erudite and patient investigators, especially 
of Muratori and Tiraboschi, have shed more light upon the 
condition of the Middle Ages than he enjoyed during his 
valuable studies. Speaking of the tenth century, Pagi says : 
" This century was not inferior to its successors in learning. 
If compared with the centuries immediately preceding and 
following it, it can be styled a period of ignorance only be- 
cause of the relatively small number of authors it produced. 
But he who examines the catalogues of ecclesiastical writers 
will find that there flourished then many more authors than 
were known of in Bellarmine's time." 

The tenth century produced Nilus, Komuald, Amimicus, 
Guido, Firmanus, and many others, "over whose venerable 
bodies," said St. Peter Damian, '' ecclesiastical authority 
has caused the erection of holy altars." From the scliool 
of St. Komuald issued St. Boniface, martyr, apostle of the 
Kussians. At this time the Germanic regions were en- 
lightened by the labors of Udalric ; Adalbert of Magdeburg ; 
Bruno, Heribert, and Anno, of Cologne ; Wolfgang of Rat- 
isbon ; Bernard and Gothard of Hildesheim ; Harduit of 
Salzburg. Hungary can boast of St. Adalbert of Prague, 
apostle of her people and of the Lithuanians, and can also 
glory in her great king, St. Stephen. Norway points to her 
royal martyr, Olav. England had her Odo, Dunstan, Os- 
wald, Ethelwald; her saintly monarchs Alfred, the two 
Edwards, Athelstane, Edmund, and Edgar. Spain, although 
groaning under the Saracenic yoke, produced SS. Gennadius 
of Zamora, Attiiau of Asturia, Budisind of Compostella, 

a) 4ii«rtK year900. (Si) Rom. Pont., b. iv., c. 12, 


and tho pious kings. Alphonsus tiie Great, Ramir II., ami 
Weremonil. France was taught by Heriveus, Adalberon, 
Railbod, and Gerald ; by Berno, Otlo, Aimard, and Odilo, 
abbots of Clunj ; by Abbo of Fleury ; and she was edified 
by her devout king Robert. 

Italy, which sufiered more from the storms of the tentli 
century than any other country, produced a great many 
literary men and cultivators of tlie fine arts and of science. 
(1). Ratherius of A'"eroua tells us that in his episcopal see 
the man}' schools of science were froquentetl by tlirongs, 
and that the schools of Rome were in a flourishing condi- 
tion. Atto of Verceili took care that instruction should be 
given gratuitously to all, in every town and handet of his 
diocese. A Rull of Benedict IV., promulgated in 903, 
shows that at Pisa the schools of theology and of law were 
in full forct'. At Ravenna. Yil^ard presided over a flourish- 
iug academy. When the emperor Otho I. wished to im- 
prove the schools of Germany, he brought from Novara the 
famous Deacon Gonzo. And were the monks doing noth- 
iuc: for science and literataire during this tenth centurv ? 
The labors of the cowled students of Bobbio alone would 
have sufficed to remove the reproach of sloth and ignorance 
from a whole nation. (2). 

Certainly there was in the tenth century sufficient intel- 
lectual vigor, as well as sufficient zeal for the things of God, 
to preserve and transmit to posterity the treasures of faith 
and of science, where other matters were concerned. We 
cannot suppose, therefore, tiiat in this one matter of the Eu- 
charistic belief — one of so tremendous a nature — the clerks 
of that period were delinquent These students and scribes 
were most diligent in their details of events. The modern 
critic often smiles, and sometimes he fumes, because of the 
indiscriminate zeal they often manifest in their greed of 
materials for their chronicles, — a zeal which causes no little 
trouble to the modern investigator. Can we suppose that 
these chroniclers, who apparently claimed everything and 
anything as grist for their mill, would have overlooked the 

H) So(« MiRATORi. AniMlx of Italiiy y. iXK) ; nud TiRAUOSCiU, Italian Literature 
vol. 111., 1). H, 0. 1. 
19) 8e the CataloRuo of Bobbio, In Muratori's AutinuitieD. 


abuiitlaiit liJirvest whicli Protestant polemics declare to have 
been at tlieir flisposal ? Here are tlu; " Lives " of SS. Kad- 
bod, Danstan, Ethehvald. Bernard of Hildesheim, Reraacli- 
ns, Maurus of Cesena, Odilon, Iloinuald ; other "Lives " of 
celebrated ecclesiastics of the tenth century ; and through- 
out all of them you will search in vain for any hint at a late 
change in the Eucharistic doctrine. Here are the "Chron- 
icle of Flodoard," found in his " History of the Church of 
Rheiras," which gives an account of the events that hap- 
pened from 919 to 900 : tlie '' Chronicle of Odoran," running 
from 075 to 1032; the "Annals" by Hepidan of St. Gallo, 
embracing the period from 709 to 1044 , the " Chronicle of 
Hildesheim," reaching from 714 to 1138 ; the "History of 
the Tenth Century," by Glabrus Ptudolphus, who died 
towards its end ; the "Chronicle " of Hermann Contractus, 
extending to 1054 ; that of Marianus Scotus, terminating at 
1083 ; and in all of them we find complete ignorance of any 
change in the Eucharistic belief of the Catholic Church, 
although they were all written, if not at the time, certainly 
shortly after, the momentous change is asserted to have 
been made. 

If the ancient doctrine of the Church concerning the 
Sacrament of the Altar had been contrary to that taught by 
Paschasius ; if he started that transformation of belief 
which is said to have been consummated during the tenth 
century ; why did not Berengarius, the sacraraentarian 
leader of the eleventh century, seize upon this fact as an 
invincible argument in favor of his own denial of the Ileal 
Presence ? When, from the rising to the setting of the 
sun, all Christendom anathematized him as an opponent of 
the universally received belief of God's Church, why did he 
not reply that down to the tenth century the Church had 
ignored the doctrine of the Ileal Presence? Not once does 
he assert that he derived his theory from those who had 
taught him in his youth ; not once does he even hint at the 
wonderful revolution discovered b}' Claude, La Roque, 
Albertin, Mosheim, and their modern imitators. All that 
he attempts to adduce by way of authority is comprised in 
pome few misinterpreted passages of St. Augustine, and a 


book attributed to Scotus Erigena. This significant silence 
would have been broken, had such a thing been possible. 
When, in the year 1045, Berengarius broached his heresy, 
there were living many whose teachers had seen the 
commencement of the tenth century, and who could not 
have been ignorant of the faith professed by Catholics at 
that time. Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, whose instructions 
Berengarius had often heard during his youth ; Adelman, 
a companion of the future heresiarch in the school of Ful- 
bert : Hugo of Lancn-es and Deoduin of Liege, his friends : 
Gozechin of Mentz, Durand of Troars, Lanfranc of Canter- 
bury, Guitmund of Aversa — all upbraid Berengarius as an 
innovator on the primitive and universally received faith of 
Christendom ; not once do he and his answer that the tenth 
century saw the birth of what the Catholic polemics present 
as the ancient doctrine of the Church. 

The Pp.eten~ded Deposition of Pope John XEE. 

In the year 931, Hugh of Provence, who, a few years pre- 
viously, had been proclaimed king of Italy and had been 
recognized as such bv nearlv all the northern Italians, made 
matrimonial overtures to Marozia, widow of Guido of Tus- 
cany, who had usurped the sovereignty of Rome. Marozia 
bestowed her hand and usurped territories upon the new 
king, but his arrogance soon disgusted the Bomans, and 
led by Alberic, a son of Marozia bv her first marriage 
with Alberic of Spoleto, they attacked the mausoleum of 
Adrian (1) and the Provencal barely escaped with his life. 
Marozia was thrust into prison, and Alberic was hailed as 
patrician and consul by the Bomans. With this dignity 
he assumed the sovereign rule of the city and duchy of 
Borne, the Exarchate and the Pentapolis having fallen into 
the hands of the king of Italy, Berengarius II. During the 
Pontificates of John XL (a brother of Alberic), of Leo VII , 

(1) Castleof St. Angelo. 


Stephen IX., Marinus II., and Agapetus II., the usurper was 
master of Piome. On the death of Alberic, iu 956, his son 
Octayian, a boy of eighteen years, succeeded to his posses- 
sions, and the Papacy becoming vacant by the death of 
Agapetus II., he procured his own election to the chair. 
Fear of schism caused the Pioman clergy to acquiesce, and 
the new Pontiff., John XIl. (Ij, was therefore certainly 
legitimate. In the year 962, he conferred the crown of the 
Holy Pioman Empire on Otho of Germany, thus reviving, 
after a vacancy of many years, the imperial dignity, which 
was destined to abide with the Germans until its final dis- 
appearance. One of the first acts of the new emperor was 
the restoration of the Pontifical authority in the Duchy of 
Piome, and the restitution of the Pentapolis and the Exar- 
chate of Eavenna. In the midst of the festivities attending 
the elevation of Otho, no one seems to have spoken to the 
emperor of the scandals of the Eoman court ; but when he 
had begun to prosecute the siege of the fortress of St. Leo, 
in which Berengarius II. had shut himself, deputies came 
from Pome to inform Otho that the young Pontiff s life was 
a scandal to Christendom, and to beseech his interference. 
Believing the accusation to be a calumny, the emperor sent 
some confidential servants to the Eternal City to investigate 
the matter. The report proved true, and Otho remarked : 
"Pope John is a mere boy, and the example of good men 
will easily change him. I trust that a discreet admonition 
and some good advice will draw him from his evil ways, 
and then we may say with the Prophet, ' This change is 
from the right hand of the Most High.' We must first de- 
feat Berengarius ; then we shall paternally admonish our 
lord the Pope." (2j. When the Pontiff found that Otho was 
disposed to become his rigid patron rather than an obsequi- 
ous friend, he repented of having conferred upon him the 
imperial crown, and resolved to break his power, at least in 
Italy. He called to Pome the fugitive Adalbert, son of 
Berengarius, and openly espoused the cause of that de- 
throned monarch. Learning, in 963, that the Pope was 
influencing the princes of Benevento, Capua, and Salerno, 

(1) This is ihe first instance of a change of name on the part of a newly elected Pope. 

(2) Continuation of Liutprand, b. vi., c. G. 


to draAv the sword for Bereugarius, Otlio left sufficient 
troops before St. Leo to main tain the siege, and marched on 
Rome with a large army. The Pod tiff and Adalbert were 
not prepared for this sudden move, and fled from the city. 
The Romans opened the gates to 0th o, and three days 
afterwards he assembled a Synod in St. Peter's, composed 
of many of the Roman clergy and several Italian bishops, 
to consider the cause of Pope John. Peter, a cardinal 
priest, testified that he had seen the Pontiff celebrate mass 
without communicating. John, a cardinal deacon, and 
Joiin, bishop of Marni, swore they had seen him ordain a 
deacon in a stable. Many of the clergy declared that he 
had consecrated as bishop a boy of ten 3'ears, and that he 
frequently conferred the episcopacy for money. Fornica- 
tion and incest were also proved against him. He was 
addicted to hunting. He had deprived of eyesight and put 
to death Benedict, his " spiritual father;" he had caused 
the mutilation of a cardinal deacon. He went abroad in full 
armor, and girt with a sword. When playing at dice, he 
invoked the aid of Jupiter, Venus, etc. He never said the 
Office. Otho quite naturally suspected that many of these 
accusations were false, and he conjured the prelates and 
clergy, by the Virgin Mother of God and the bodj- of St. 
Peter, to not calumniate their Pontiff. The whole assembl}' 
arose, and unanimously protested that of all that had been 
alleged, " and of more wicked things," Pope John Avas 
guilty. The Pontiff was then summoned to answer the 
charges, but he refused to appear, and threatened the 
members of the court with excommunication. Two cardi- 
nals were then sent to summon him for the second time, but 
they returned without having been able to serve the citation. 
The court then declared John XII. deposed from the Ponti- 
fical throne, and in his place was chosen Leo, archivist of 
the Roman Church, and at that time a layman. Ordained 
and consecrated, he exercised the Papal functions as Leo 
VIII. After the installation of Leo VIII. , the emperor 
remained a short time in Rome, and as everything seemed 
tranquil, he sent a large part of his army to join the 
besiegers of St Leo. When Pope John heard of this dim- 


iuation of the imperial forces, he dispatched agents to Rome, 
who soon fomented an insurrection in his favor. At the 
head of his troops, Otho fought for his life, and succeeded 
in quelling the outbreak. He then departed for St. LeCo 
(1). Pope John now returned to Rome and took terrible 
vengeance for his expulsion. But in May. 964, he died, 
probabl}' assassinated, and was succeeded by Benedict V., 
hitherto a deacon of the Roman Church. Otho was furious 
at this action of the Roman clergy, whereby his intrudiog 
Leo was rejected, and the oath taken by them in 963 
ignored. He immediately besieged the city, and soon re- 
ducing it, he recalled Leo. A pseudo-Synod was then held, 
in which Pope Benedict was declared relegated to the rank 
of deacon (2) ; after which Otho exiled him to Germany, 
where he soon died. Leo, however, reigned only until 965, 
when his death enabled the Roman clergy to elect John, 
bishop of Narni, who ascended the Pontifical throne as 
John XIIL 

That the life of Pope John XII. was abominable, seems 
certain from the concordant testimonj^ of the olden writers, 
such as the Continuator of Liutprand, Sigebert, and the 
Acts of the Roman Synod held in his regard. Barouio ad- 
mits that he was " most impure, and rightly detested by 
all good men," and speaking of his death, which the Con- 
tinuator ascribes to a direct intervention of Satan, the 
learned Oratorian says, " although he was warned by God 
with so many and so great vexations, he would not abstain 
from his wonted sins, and justly merited to be at length 
punished by God " (3). We must remember, however, that 
the Continuator, upon whom we principally rely for infor- 
mation, was thoroughly devoted to the emperor Otho and 

fl) This fortress soon yielded, and Bereusarius was sent a prisoner into Germany. The 
suzerain authority of Otho was soon recognized by the Lombard princes of Berievento, 
Capua, and Salerno, and by the year 9(59 he was master of Italy, save in such territories of 
the Duchy of Naples, the PuRlia, Calabria, and Sicily, as were disputed by the Greeks and 
Saracens. In 968, he had exacted f roiri the Romans an oath of fidelity and a promise to 
elect no Pontiff without his or his successors' consent. 

(2) Gratian, in Dhit. 63, chni). Symxl, frives a Constitution of this pseudo-synod in which 
is conceded to Otho and his successors the privilege of choosing the Roman Pontiff, and 
that of granting the " investiture " to bishops. Baronio proves that this Constitution is 
supposititious. 1st, from the falsity of a singular concession here asserted as made by 
Adrian I. to Charlemagne 'see Alexandre's Synopsis of Tcof. FIT'/', chap. nniu. Pant.); 
2d, because it is not to be supposed that Otho, already emperor, would have been cre- 
ated patrician and king, as this document states : 3d, because the violators of the Con- 
stitution are not only excommunicated, but consigned to eternal flames, which style of 
language Leo, an archivist of the Holy See, knew well to be foreign to the usage of liome. 

Vi) Annals, near 963. ud. 2.5. 


to the intruder Leo. His testimony, therefore, is not above 
suspicion. Sigebert wrote more than a century after the 
death of John XII., and probably derived much of his 
knowledge from the CJironicle of Liutprand and its Apjjen- 
dix. But we do not intend to write an apology for Pope 
John XII. ; we grant that he was one of the very few- 
wicked men who have sat in the Chair of St. Peter. Our 
Lord reminded us that the leaders in Israel are not per- 
sonally impeccable : " The Scribes and the Pharisees have 
sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore, whatso- 
ever they shall say to you, observe and do ; but according 
to their works, do ye not." Having succinctly narrated the 
events of his Pontificate, we merely propose to show that 
the deposition of Pope John XII. was null and void, and 
that therefore the intruder, known as Leo VIIL, must be 
relegated to the list of Anti-Popes. 

Many of the olden authors, especially the Germans, who 
were most favorable to Otho I., seem to regard Leo VIIL 
as legitimate. Among these are the Continuator of Liut- 
prand, Sigebert, Platina, Trithemius, and Papyrius Massou. 
Among the eccentricities of the famous Launoy was an 
endeavor to uphold the legitimacy of Leo, and it is against 
his arguments that Alexandre principally contends in his 
apposite dissertation on this subject. (1). Speaking of the 
pseudo-Synod which pretended to depose Pope John XII., 
Baronio says that he " had never read of any Synod in 
which ecclesiastical law was more disregarded, the Canons 
more violated, tradition more despised, and justice more 
outraged." Very diiTerent from this was the impression 
produced by the imperial Synod on the mind of the German 
professor Neller (17G6), whose courtier sensitiveness could 
perceive only the promptings and effects of religious zeal 
in its proceedings. However, his fellow professor in the 
university of Treves, Martin Beuder, S J., well refuteil his 
arguments, as the reader may perceive by consulting Mar- 
clietti's Critical Coiiimentartj on fh>' E'vlcs-iasfical Iliston/ of 
Fkiiri/. (2). Baronio proves the nullity of the deposition 
of Pope John XII.. 1st, from the fact that there was not a 

(1) Cent. X., disii. 16. (2) Art. 2, ch<ii>. ili.. wi. W. 


sufficient number of witnesses brought against him (1) ; 
2d, the decree was issued after only two citations of the 
accused, while the Canons require three, nor were there 
granted any delays ; 3d, the Synodals demanded of the 
emperor what a layman could not effect, that is, the depo- 
sition of a Pontiff and the election of another ; -Ith, 
sentence, properly speaking, was not pronounced ; a short 
speech of the emperor pretended to settle so important a 
matter ; 5th, an assembly of bishops convoked by an em- 
peror, without the consent of the Roman Pontiff, is not a. 
Synod, but a mere convention possessed of no authority. 
As we have seen, when treating of the cause of Pope Sym- 
machus, the Roman Synod declared that, even in the 
Pope's own cause, no Synod could be held unless by his 
consent and convocation. "The aforesaid bishops," say 
the Acts, " suggested that he Avho is said to be accused 
should himself convoke the Synod, for they knew that a 
peculiar power over the churches had been given to his 
See, firstly, by the merit and principality of the Apostle 
Peter, and afterwards, according to the Lord's command, 
by the authority of the venerable Councils." But the chief 
argument against the legitimacy of the Othonian decree is- 
found in the principle that a superior cannot be judged by 
an inferior. The bishops of the Roman Synod just quoted 
declared that " the bishop of the Apostolic See has never 
been subject to the judgment of his inferiors." And in the 
Apology which Eunodius wrote for this Pahnaris Synod, and 
which the fathers stamped as possessing Synodical author- 
ity, we read : " God has wished men to decide the causes of 
other men, but He has reserved the rulers of that See to 
his own tribunal, without question. He has wished the 
successors of the Blessed Apostle Peter to answer for their 
innocence to Heaven alone." 

In the letter which Avitus of Vienne, in the name of the 
bishops of France, sent to the Roman Senators, complain- 
ing of the Synodal action in the case of Pope Symmachus, 
they not knowing that the Pontiff had consented to the 

(1) Alfxamlr.. thinks that Ban.nio is vvrotip in his arKUi.i.-nl (flediKwl from the SMpp-slil- 

ns «vm^rT^iniiPs4 in the^^^^ Of Pope Marcellinusi that 7;J wUnes-ses were necessary. 

'erererereaS"^itvs'Ale.xa^ accusers and witnesses were 

the same, and nci single crime was attested by more than one. 


liokling of the Synod, we read : " While we were anxious 
and fearful for the cause of the Eoman Church, feelinj that 
our State tottered when its head was attacked, .... there 
was brought to us a copy of a sacerdotal decree, which the 
bishops of Italy, assembled in the City, had issued concern- 
ing Pope Symmachus. Although the assent of a large and 
reverend Synod rendered this Constitution worthy of obser- 
vation, we nevertheless knew that Pope Symmachus, if he 
had been accused in the world, ought to have received 
consolation from his fellow-priests, rather than judgment 

we cannot easily understand with' Avhat reason or 

law a superior is judged by his inferiors the same 

venerable Synod reserved for Divine examination the cause 
which, saving the reverence due to it, it had rashly under- 
taken Wliich being shown, as myself a Eoman 

senator and a Christian bishop, I solemnly call iipon vou 

that you do not less respect the See of Peter in jour 

Church, than you do the height of power in the City 

If anything weakens in other priests, it may be strengthened, 
but if the Pope of Rome is called into question, not merelv 
a bishop, but the episcopate, seems to totter. . . . He who 
governs tlie fold of the Lord will give, an account of his 
care of the lambs entrusted to him ; again, it is the prov- 
ince of the Judge, not of the dock, to correct the shep- 

It was in accordance with the principle that a supe)i(»i' 
should not be judged by an inferior, that St. Cyril, patri- 
arch of Alexandria, complained, in the Fourth Ac/ion of the 
Ephesine Council, of the decree of deposition issued 
against him b}- John, the inferior patriarch of Antioch ; and 
the fathers did him justice. And because of the same 
principle, not on account of faith, said Anatolius of Con- 
stantinople, Dioscorus, wIk^ had pretended to excommunicate 
Pope St. Leo, was condemned by the fathers of Chalcedon. 
Since, tlierefore, this principle was ever held holy by the 
Church, a sentence of deposition pronounced against a 
Pvoman Pontiff by a liandful of prelates at the bidding of a 
lay autocrat must be regarded as null and void. When 
Pope Leo III. willingly a]>pe;ired before a Eoman Synod, 


in the presence of Charlemagne, to answer certain accusa- 
tions, the bishops exchximed : " We dare not judge the See 
of the Apostles, which is the head of all the Churches of 
God. By her and bj her Vicar we are all judged ; she is 
judged by no one— such is the ancient custom. As the 
Eoman Pontiff discerns, we canonically obey." (1). Launoy 
contends that the Roman Synod held by Pope John XII. 
after his restoration, and in which the Anti-Pope Leo was 
condemned, is supposititious ; but he adduces only the 
negative argument, that the Continmtor of Liutprand, 
Flodoard, Sigebert (in the Gemblours codex), Martin the 
Pole, Trithemius, Platina, and a few others, do not speak of 
it. But the ancient Vatican codex used by Barouio in edit- 
ing the Jds of this Synod is beyond suspicion, as is evinced 
by the fact that the Centuriators of Magdeburg do not 
question its antiquity. Launoy also argues for the legiti- 
macy of Leo from the fact that the St. Leo who reigned 
from 1049 to 1054 is styled in the Boman 3Iartyrology Pope 
Leo IX., whereas, if the Leo substituted for John XII. Avas 
an Anti-Pope, the saint of the eleventh century should be 
called Pope Leo VIII. Launoy has reason on his side, in- 
asmuch as the St Leo in question was, strictly speaking, 
Leo VIII. But although this error has crept into the 
Martyrologij, and the usage of centuries has sanctioned the 
enumeration of the Pontiffs now in vogue, the consequence 
which Launoy would fain derive from the custom is not a 
necessary one. Pope Felix (526 530 1, the ancestor of St. 
Gregory the Great, is generally styled Felix IV., as the 
Felix who mounted the throne in 483 is called Felix III., 
although it is certain that the Felix denominated Second, 
who was illegally substituted for Liberius (355), should be 
expunged from the catalogue of Pontiffs. Again, if the 
archivist Leo was not an Anti-Pope, then B-^nedict V., 
whom the Roman clergy elected on the death of John XII., 
•certainly was one, for Leo was yet living and claiming the 
Chair of Peter when Benedict was chosen. It would follow 
d:hen that the nomenclature of all the Popes named Bene- 

(\) ANASTASius, Lift of Leo III. 


diet, since that time, is incorrect. Since then, both in the* 
hypothesis of Launoy and in our own, an error in the 
Martyrology is manifest, it cannot be adduced as a proof 
that its compilers regarded as legitimate the chosen of the- 
Othoniau Synod. 

Matthew Flaccius, when endeavoring to prove that the 
Holy Roman empire was transferred from the Franks to 
the Germans, without the authority of the Holy See, asserts- 
that Otho deposed Pope John XII., and that he did so in 
the exercise of his imperial prerogative, which was the 
castigation of unworthy Pontiffs. The following are his 
words : " As for the letter of the cardinals to Otho, it was 
nothing else than an accusation against John XII., a most 
impure man, and a petition that, having deposed him, the 
emperor would substitute another and better bishop or 
Pope in his place ; which, indeed, Otho I. energetically 
effected, for then, as in all antiquity, the Caesars possessed 
the authority to chastise impure Popes. The history of 
this fact is fully given by Liutprand, a writer most worthy 
of confidence." It is absolutely false that Otho deposed 
Pope John XII., and that of old it was regarded as part of 
the imperial duty to punish wicked Pontiffs. The Pagan 
emperors, indeed, put many of the Pontiffs to death ; heret- 
ical and schismatic emperors, Christian only by baptism, 
often imprisoned, exiled, and tortured the sucessors of St. 
Peter, on account of their apostolic firmness, but the truly 
Catholic sovereigns always treated the Popes with venera- 
tion and submission. While innumerable testimonies can 
be produced to show that the first duty of the emperor was- 
to defend the Holy See, that, indeed, such was the prime 
reason of his dignity, and its only reason of being, neither 
Flaccius nor any one of his modern imitators have produced 
one proof that, in the constitution of the Holy Roman em- 
pire, the emperor possessed the right to judge the Roman 
Pontiff, either as Pope, as king, or as man. Flaccius praises 
Liutprand as a reliable historian, and refers us to his 
chronicle in proof of many insolent assertions. But this 
author (1), and what is more. Flaccius him.self (2), testify 

(1) B. vi., c. CandT. (2) Ccnturiatnr»ot Mapdeburp ; cent. 10, c. 9. 


"that, guilty as Pope John seemed to be, Otho did not him- 
self enter upon a judgment or even a trial, but called an 
episcopal convention at Kome, and to it submitted the 
cause of the Pontiif. Otho declared, says Liutprand, " let 
the Synod declare its judgment in this matter," and in the 
epistle of Otho to the Pope, given by the same historian, 
the emperor does not command, but respectfully entreats 
him to come to the Synod : " To the lord John, supreme 
Pontiff and universal Pope, Otho, by the divine clemency, 
August Emperor, together with the archbishops of Liguria, 
Tuscany, Saxony, and France, send greeting in the Lord. 
-Coming to Rome for the service of God, when we questioned 
your sons, the Roman cardinals, bishops, priests, and 
-deacons, and the whole people, as to your absence, and 
why you wished not to see us, the Defender of your Church 
and of yourself, they alleged against you such obscenities, 
as would be shameful, even if charged to play actors. And 
lest these accusations should be unknown to your Greatness, 

we will briefly describe some of them Therefore we 

-earnestly entreat your Paternity to come, and not to hesi- 
tate in proving your innocence of these charges." 


The Gkeek Schism : Its Revival by Michael Cekularius, 
AND its Present Condition. 

From the second deposition of Photius by the emperor 
Leo the Philosopher (y. 889), down to tlie reign of Coustan- 
tine Monoraachus-that is, for nearly a century and a half 

the union of the Greeks with the centre of unity remained 

unbroken. Once, indeed, (y. 998), it had been endangered, 
when the patriarch Sergius, of the same family as Photius, 
assembled a Synod, and, having renewed all the calumnies 
of that schismatic against the Holy See, endeavored in vain 
to induce the other patriarchs to revolt (1) ; and the suc- 

(1 1 Maimhonn? asserts tbat Serpius erased the name of the Roman Pontiff f rorn the dip- 

TvPh..(<^Wn-^mof ^;h 7;rf6frs, 1). lU-U but Peter of Antiorh writes to Michael Cerii anus 

fn ATilTins (4'cnf VI2 c.l.) that the accusation is false, and that he does not know 

wh.f effM te^f hvM'nfsure The patriarch Veccus, Oral. II.. confirms the declaration of the 

^ntiochian patriarch. 


cesser of Sergius, though he persistently tried to obtain 
from Pope John XIX. the title of CEcumenical (1), did not 
revenge his disappointment by rebellion. Under seventeen 
successive patriarchs, after the extinction of the Photian 
schism (2), the Greeks continued to recognize the supremacy 
of the Eoman See, until the patriarchate of Michael Ceru- 
larius, in the year 1053. At this period, the Byzantine 
throne was occupied by Constantine Monomachus, whom 
the empress Zoe, a worthy compeer of the many murderous 
and adulterous sovereigns who, for centuries, defiled the 
throne of the great Constantine, had married in 1043. 
During the reign of Michael of Paphlagonia, Zoe's second 
husband, the relations of Monomachus with the imperial 
adulteress had caused his exile to Lesbos, but after 
Michael's death the sexagenarian princess recalled her 
paramour, and placed him on the throne. The reign of 
Monomachus was rendered infamous by his shameless de- 
bauchery, and under his supine administration the empire 
lost Illyria to the Servians, the Pnglia and Calabria to the 
Normans, while nearly all its Asiatic possessions were rav- 
aged by the Turkish conquerors of Persia. Among the 
favorites of the imperial debauchee was Michael Cerula- 
rius, an ambitious nobleman, who, having conspired against 
the Paphlagonian, had been confined in a monastery, where, 
although he took the monastic liabit, in order to avoid 
further punishment, he remained a layman, that he might 
be in position to profit by future contingencies. The sim- 
ilarity of their fortunes drew Cerularius and Monomachus 
together, and when, eit^ht months after the coronation of 
the latter, the Constantinopolitan patriarchate became 
vacant, it was given to the former. 

For ten years Cerularius gave no sign of hostility to the 
Holy See ; but in 1053, having gained great influence over 
Leo, metropolitan of Acridia, and Nicetas (Pectoratus), a 
monk of the great monastery of Studius, and one of the 
most learned men in the empire, he made his first move- 
ment toward a revival of the schism of Photius. He caused 

(1) Eustalhius bcfrpfd that, a.s tho Roman PiinlifT was n':ciiiiienical for Ilie wliolt^ worliI» 
so the roiistantiiiopolitan iiatiian-li iniv'hi ho siylod tho same for il)e F.usi 
ii) Munuitl Cakcax: A{i<iiii'^t '/" '<'"iA>, />• iv. 


Nicetas to write a pamphlet against many of tlie customs 
of the Latins, and especially against the use of unleavened 
bread in the Holy Sacrifice— a usage, we may remark, 
which even the virulent Photius had not thought of con- 
demning. This document was circulated throughout the 
Greek empire, and as some of the dioceses of the Puglia 
were still in the Byzantine obedience, a copy was sent to 
John, bishop of Trani, witli an order from Cerularius to 
publish it throughout the West. The bishop of Trani 
handed the diatribe to cardinal Humbert, who was then 
visiting Trani, and his Eminence translated it into Latin 
and laid it before Pope Leo IX., then a prisoner to the 
Normans in Benevento, The following are the terrible 
accusations against the Koman, and therefore against all 
the Latin churches, which the profundity and sincerity of 
Cerularius put forth as a justification of revolt against the 
See of Peter, i. By the use of unleavened bread for the 
Sacrifice of the Mass, the Latins communicate with the 
Jews, and, furthermore, adopt an invalid matter for said 
Sacrifice, ii. The Latins eat the flesh of suffocated animals. 
TIL They shave their faces. iv. They fast on Saturday. 
V. They eat the flesh of unclean animals, vi. They allow 
tlieir monks to eat meat. vii. They violate the Lenten fast, 
by permitting the use of flesh on Quiuquagesima and in 
the first week of Lent. viii. They have added the clause 
" And from the Son " to the Creed, and they err in the 
doctrine as to the Holy Ghost, ix. They loudly proclaim, 
in tlieir liturgy : " Our Holy Lord Jesus Christ, in the 
glory of God the Father, through the Holy Ghost." x. 
They allow two brothers to marry two sisters, xi. At the 
time of Communion, the officiating and other clergy give 
each otlier the kiss of peace, xii. Their bishops Avear 
rings, as though espoused to their churches, xiii. Their 
bishops go to war, and soil their hands with human blood. 

XIV. They immerse the subject, in Baptism, one only time. 

XV. They put salt into the mouth of the candidate for 
Baptism, xvi. They do not venerate the relics or the 
images of tlie saints, xvii. They do not sing the Alleluia 
during Lent. Pope St. Leo IX. read this curious mixture 


of puerilities, absurdities, and lies, a few days after he had 
received from Peter, the newly-elected patriarch of Autioch, 
a most submissive letter, begging for the confirmation of 
that prelate's new dignity. The holy Pontiff immediately 
wrote to the Constantinopolitan patriarch a lengthy and 
admirable reply, in which he strenuously insisted upon the 
God-given prerogatives of the See of Kome, and pointed 
out to the arrogant Cerularius the unreasonableness of 
some, and the absurdity of others, of his allegations against 
that See ; he also showed how a diversity of customs may 
subsist, and yet the unity and essence of faith and of 
doctrine be not affected ; drawing his attention also to the 
fact that, even in Rome, the Greeks were allowed — nay, 
•even commanded — to observe their own peculiar rites and 
usages, since only a difference in faith, or a disobedience to 
the head of the Church, can rupture communion. When 
Cerularius had read this letter, he did not act as might 
have been expected, from the tone of his celebrated dia- 
tribe ; perhaps he had been ordered to temporize by 
Monomachus, who was begging the aid of the Pontiff' 
against the Normans ; perhaps he had found too much 
opposition among the Greeks to his schismatic designs. 
Whatever may have been his reason, he addressed a con- 
ciliatory letter to the Pontiff, and St. Leo IX., anxious for 
the unity of the Church, sent as legates to Constantinople 
the cardinal Humbert, the cardinal-chancellor, Frederick, 
and the archbishop of Amalfi. These prelates were mag- 
nificently received by the Greek emperor, and during the 
following conferences, which lasted several days, the cardinal 
Humbert refuted the charges made by Cerularius. The 
monk Nicetas was convinced by the arguments of the 
cardinal, and having made a solemn retractation of the 
sentiments contained in his diatribe, was received into 
communion by the legates. The patriarch, however, now 
refused to submit, and after many efforts to overcome his 
obstinacy, the legates proceeded to the great basilica of 
St. Sophia, (Aug. 16, 1051), and there, before an immense 
congregation, they declared Cerularius and his followers 
excommunicated, and having laid the sentence upon the 


high altar, tliey shook the dust from their shoes, and left 
the church, crying, "Be God our Judge! " Charged with 
valuable presents from Monomachus for the churches of 
St. Peter and of St. Benedict at Montecassino, they then 
departed from Constantinople. Cerularius now spread a 
report that the excommunication applied to the entire Greek 
nation, and when the mob had become suflSciently excited 
to warrant his supposing that the legates would be killed if 
an opportunity were afforded, he signified to the emperor 
that he was now willing to confer with them, if they would 
return to the city. Monomachus, however, suspected the 
design of the patriarch, and hurried the legates on their 
journey ; indeed, fond of Cerularius as he had shown himself, 
.and though he was too apt to yield to him on all occasions, 
this emperor did not directly abet the schism. But in a 
few months after the departure of the legates, Monomachus 
died, leaving the crown to Theodora, sister of the empress 
Zoe (who had died a short time before), and Cerularius be- 
came all-powerful ; the efforts of the schismatics were also 
aided by a year's vacancy of the Holy See. The patriarchs 
■of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem did not at once join 
the party of Cerularius ; indeed, Peter of Antioch ridiculed 
most of the charges made against the Westerns by the 
Constantinopolitan ; but he could not endure the one im- 
mersion at Baptism, and the addition of " And from the 
Son " to the Creed ; hence, in time, he joined the other 
patriarchs in anathematizing the Latins, and in erasing the 
name of the Pontiff from the diptychs. The schism thus 
inaugurated has endured, saving short periods of nominal 
and interested union, until our own day. (1). 

In many minds the Russian, or, as it styles itself, the 
" orthodox " Church, is synonymous with the schismatic 
Greek Church ; but it is not schismatic Greek in origin, 
nor is it Greek in language, polity, or government. The 
schismatic Greek Church is composed of those Christians 
who recognize the spiritual jurisdiction of the Greek pa- 
triarch of Constantinople, and is confined to the territories 
once embraced in the Byzantine (now known as the Otto- 

(1) The remainder of this chapter appeared as an article in the Ave Maria, yoL xniv., 
DOS. 23 and 24. 


man) empire (1) with its vassal (now only quasi vassal) 
states — Egypt, Nubia, etc. The Eussian Church commu- 
nicates with the schismatic Greek, and in spite of its own 
liturgy, which stoutly asserts the primacy of the Roman 
See, (2) agrees wi+Vi the schismatic Greeks in rejecting the 
authority of the Roman Pontiff; but it is, in every respect, 
a national church. (3) 

The language of the Russian Church is not the Greek,, 
but the Slavonic ; and not the vernacular, but the Old 
Slavonic, with which the people are not familiar. Protes- 
tants are much mistaken when, reading that the Greeks, 
Syrians, Copts, etc., celebrate their services in Greek, 
Syrian, Coptic, etc., they imagine they discover an example 
for their own use of the vernacular. The languages used in 
the rituals of these peoples are very different from those in 
daily use. (4). Nor do the Russians owe their conversion to 
the Greek schismatic church. This conversion was effected 
by the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church ; for whether, as 
we learn from Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the first mission- 
aries to Russia were sent by the Catholic Patriarch Ignatius 
(867), or, as Nestor asserts, they were sent by the schis- 
matic Photius (866), it is certain that no real impression 
was made upon the Russian masses until toward the end 
of the tenth century, (5) when the Grand Duke Vladimir, 
called " the Apostolic," embraced Christianity ; and at the 

(1) In 1833 the hierarchy of the new kingdom of Greece declared Its independence of the- 
patriarch, and in ]8()8 that prelate recognized its aiUonomy. 

(~) The Russian liturfru'al hooks, written in Old Slavonic, are full of such testimonies. 
Thus, Pope St. Sylvester is called '* the divine head of the holy bishops." Pope St. Leo 
I. is styled " the successor of St. Peter on th<' hitrhest throne, the heir <if the iiiipretrnalile 
rock." To Pope St. Martin is said: " Thou didst adorn the divine throne of IVter, and, 
holdinfr the church tipripht on this rock, which cannot be shaken, thou didst honor thy 
name." Pope St. Leo III. is thus addressed: "thief Pastor of the fhiucli, 1111 the place 
'^'' Jesus Christ." St. Peter is called the sovereifrn pastor of all the Apostles — "iMisij/r 
jhuliitiliiiiii rsicli Aiiiifitiiloc." 

(3) It recognizes no earthly authority over itself but that of the " Holy Synod," a body 
entirely dependent on the Czar Orisrinally, the metropolitan of Uussia was nominated by 
the sovcreitrii, and con^-ecratcd by the Constantinopolitan patriarch: but after the schistn 
the czars hcffau to act, more and moie, as heads of the cluu'ch. In 15S".i the patriarch 
.Jeremiah II. iccofxtilZ(»d .Job, metropolltiin of Moscow, as i)atiiar<'h of Russia, an<i as next 
in rank to him of Ale.xandria. In tlie rcitrn of Alexis Micliaelovitch, father of Peter the 
CJreat, Nikon of Moscow reiected the authoiilv of Constantinoi)le ; and in ItKir. Nikon har- 
intr offended Ale.xis, he was deposed, and the power of his successors became nominal. 
Peter the Great tlnaliv, in K2I. placed the government of the Russian church in a " Holy 
Synod," every member of which swears obedience to the Czar as " supreme judge in this 
spiritual nssembly." 

14) As.sKMANi : "0;-/( (i/n/ Ijihram" vol. iv., c. T, 8 -^.J. 

(•'i) About the year Vl.'i olliii. ( )ljra, or KJL'a. widow of a era nd duke (or kinp) of Rus.sia. 
ma.le a journey to Constanlinople, and was tlieic baptized Retuinintr to Russia, she 
valtdy endeavored tf> convert her countrvmeii Hut her L'randson. Vladindr. having 
tnaniej A.iua. sister of the (ireek Kiiiperor Masil II., was baplired in '.iss, iiiid in a few 
years nearlv all the Itussians received the Faith. Those authors who assign the c(inver>-'ion 
if Ku si. I to the uintli century, remarks liergier, th« reign of IJasil 11 with thai of 
Hasil the Macedonian. 


time the Greeks were in communion with Rome. The 
revival of the schism, by Michael Cerularius, did not much 
affect the Russians. Not until the t^'elfth century were 
they entirely seduced from the Roman obedience. Then, 
with the exception of the Church of Galicia, (1) most of the 
Russians ceased to be Catholics. However, at the time of 
the Council of Florence (1439) there were as many Catholics 
as schismatics in Russia. {BoUanrlists : "■ September '' v. 41.) 
About the middle of the fifteenth century, a second Photius, 
archbishop of Kiev, extended the schism throughout the 
land. (2) 

The following remarks of the Russian Jesuit, Ivan Gagarin, 
than whom the reader will find no better authority on 
matters concerning the Russian Church, are worthy of at- 
tention : " It was only in a very indirect manner that the 
Russian Church was drawn into schism. The metropolitans 
of Kiev depended, in the hierarchical order, upon C(m- 
stantinople. When the rupture between Rome and By- 
zantium took place, Kiev found itself separated from the 
centre of unity ; but for a long time the Russians did not 
share the passions of the Greeks, and it may be said that, 
for a long period, merely a material schism subsisted be- 
tween Rome and the Russian Church. But the clergy >.->{ 
Constantinople endeavored to imbue the Russians with 
their own prejudices and with their hatred of the Latins. 
They succeeded, and when the princes of Moscow miinifested 
a design of attacking the independence of the Russian 
church, this body could rely on itself alone. 

"As yet no one has written the sad and touching history 
of the struggle which this church, isolated from the West 

1) Galicia, or Red Russia, returned to the fold of unity under Pope Honorius III. 
(1216-27.) The two millions of Ruthenians, as they are called, use the Slavonic liturgy, and 
their secular clergy may marry before receiving Holy Orders. 

(2) Some anUiors opine that the schism of Cerularius did rot affect the entire Greek em- 
pire in the nth century. Certainly, Pope Alexander n. sent Peter, bishop of Anapni, as 
Apocrisiarim (agent, not legate) to the emperor Michael Ducas in lOri. and he continued 
as such for a whole year. When, in 1078, St. Gregory VII. excommunicated Nicephorus 
Botoniates, it was only because that prince dethroned Ducas, who was in communion with 
the Holy See- Pope Paschal II. sent Chrysolanus (or, as some write the name, Grosolanus, 
or Proculanus) as legate to Alexis Comrienus. Alexandre and Mansl hold that there was 
communion between tlie West and E tst for some time after the excommunication of Ceru- 
larius and his pretended retaliation of the same. It is noteworthy that EuthymusZygabenuB, 
who, by order of Alexis Com nenus collected the sayings of the Fathers against each and 
every heresy, makes no mention of the Latins as heretics. Even in the twelfth century 
there were many Greeks in conununion with Rome, as we learn from the many narrative'* 
of the crusades', from the Ahxim of Anna Comnena, from the Life of Manuel by Nicetas 
Choniates, and fmm the letters (b. iv.,nos. 3!i, 4 ) of the Venerable Peter of Clunv to :lie 
emperor John Comnenus and to the patriarch of Constantinople. 


and betrayed by the East, sustained against the growing 
ambition of tlio granddukes aiid czars of Moscow. And. 
nevertheless, that history has some beautiful pages. If the 
Kussian Church succumbed, it was not without combat or 
without glor}-. Ivan III., if not from conviction, at least 
ostensibly, belonged to a sect which designed to substitute 
Judaism for Christianity. The metropolitan of Moscow 
had been seduced, but the Eussian Church preserved suffi- 
cient strength and independence to condemn the impure 
doctrines. When Ivan lY.. who much resembled Henry 
YIII. of England, shed the blood of his subjects in tor- 
rents, and trampled on ecclesiastical authority to gratify 
his passions, Philip, metropolitan of Moscow, spoke to him 
with apostolic liberty, and sealed his remonstrances with 
his blood. But the church continued to lose ground, and 
when Boris Godounov transformed the metropolitan of 
Moscow into a patriarch (1588), that elevation was, iu his 
mind, for the purpose of furnishing the czar with a willing 

took" (1) 

Although the "orthodox" Russians and schismatic 
Greeks, like the Nestorians and Jacobites, are witnesses to 
the antiquity of many dogmas which Protestants regard as 
modern human innovations, Protestant polemics ever show 
much sympathy for the aversion cherished by these 
schismatics toward the Holy See. The children of the 
Reformation have often endeavored to enter into com- 
munion with these separatists, but their efforts resulted, 
each time, only in a formal condemnation of Protestant 
tenets by the progeny of Photius and Cerularius. Two of 
these attempts at union between the Eastern and "Western 
opponents of Rome merit attention. 

In 1574 Stephen Gerlach, a Lutheran, and preacher to 
the imperial embassy at Constantinople, was urged by 
many of his co-religionists to obtain from Jeremiah II., 
patriarch of Constantinople, an endorsement of the '' Con- 
fession of Augsburg " as consonant with the faith of the 
schismatics. But Jeremiah combated the " Confession " 
as heretical, with tongue and pen. In 1672 Dositheus, 

(1) Will Rtmia become Catholic? Paris. 1856. 


schismatic patriarch of Jerusalem, convoked a Synod to 
consider the doctrines of Calvin, and the Synodals said of 
the Lutheran overtures to Jeremiah : " Martin Crugius, and 
others well versed in the new doctrines of Luther, sent the 
articles of their ' Confession ' to him who then sat on the 
throne of the Catholic Constantinopolitan Church, that 
they might learn whether they agreed in doctrine with the 
Oriental churches. But that great patriarch wrote to them 
— yea, against them — three learned discourses, or replies, 
wherein he theologically and Catholicly refuted their entire 
heresy, and taught them the orthodox doctrines which the 
Oriental Church received from the beginning. However, 
they paid no attention ; for they had bidden farewell to all 
piety. The patriarch's book was issued, in Greek and Latin, 
at Wittemberg in Germany, in the year of salvation 1584 ; 
but before the time of Jeremiah, the entire doctrine of the 
Oriental Church had been more fully set forth by the priest 
John Nathaniel, procurator of Constantinople, in his ' Treat- 
ise on the Sacred Liturgy ' ; and after the said Jeremiah, 
this was also done by Gabriel Severus Moreanus, arch- 
bishop of our brethren of Crete, in his book on ' The Seven 
Sacraments of the Catholic Church.' " (1) 

Another and more celebrated attempt to unite the Wes- 
tern innovators and the Eastern schismatics was made in the 
seventeenth century. Cyril Lucar, a Candiot, was sent to 
the University of Padua when a youth, where he studied 
under the famous Margunius, bishop of Cythera. After 
his graduation he traveled in Germany, and became infected 
with the new doctrines. Nevertheless, on his return to the 
Greeks he received the priesthood, and in time became 
patriarch of Alexandria. In 1621, having bribed the Grand 
Vizier with money furnished by the Calvinists of Holland, 
he was appointed patriarch of Constantinople. He began 
immediately to teach Calvinism ; the clergy revolted ; Cyril 
was exiled to Rhodes, and Anthimius of Alexandria was 
placed on the patriarchal throne. However, the intrigues 
of the English ambassador caused the Porte to recall Cyril, 
and he soon published a Confession of Faith of the most 

(1) We have followed the Latin version of this Synod of Jerusalem (or of Bethlehem), 
made by an anonymous Benedictine of St. Maur, and flrst published at Paris, in 167G. 


Calvinistic type. In 1636 the indignation of the Greeks 
compelled the Porte to again banish the innovator, but 
after three months he was once more recalled— only to be 
bow-stringed, by order of the Porte, in 1638. Lucar's 
Confession appeared in Holland in 1645, and was gladly 
welcomed by Protestants as a harbinger of their recognition 
by the historically veuenerable churches of the East ; but 
the consequent publication of the justly celebrated Per- 
petuity of the Faith of the Catholic Church concerning the 
Eucharist demonstrated the fallaciousness of their hopes (1). 
They soon found that the Greeks admitted their agreement 
with Piome concerning most of the Catholic dogmas, 
Indeed, as soon as Lucar's Confession appeared in Constan- 
tinople, the author was synodically deposed, and Cyril of 
Berea was made patriarch. This prelate convoked a Synod, 
in 1638, aud a condemnation of Lucar was signed by the 
three schismatic patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, 
and Jerusalem, and by twenty -three bishops. Soon after, 
bribery and intrigue procured the patriarchal chair for 
Parthenius of Adrianople, who in 1612 held another Synod, 
which again reprobated Lucar's teachings. In 1672 Dosi- 
theus of Jerusalem celebrated the Synod already mentioned, 
which confirmed the decisions of the other assemblies. 

In the Acts of this assembly we read that the Greek 
schismatics accused the Calvinists (whom they styled " liars, 
innovators, heretics, mendacious architects, apostates, who, 
like all heretics, are artificial explainers of Scripture and of 
the Fathers,") of calumniating the Orientals by the asser- 
tion that the said Orientals held Calvinstic doctrine. And 
this assertion was made, say the bishops, in spite of so 
many declarations of Greek patriarchs ; in spite of the 
publication of the '' orthodox " belief ; in spite of the lucid 

(t) In the Ave quarto volumes of which this work consists, are collected testimonies of all 
the Greek ecclesliistlcal authors who wrote after the schism of Photlus ; the professions of 
faith of many patriarrhi ami bishops ; declarations of many Synods ; the liturgies, etc., of 
the East. It Is proved that in all a^es. just as to-day, the Orieiitsils admitted seven sacra- 
ments, and held that these produce jrrace : that, as now, they believed lu transubstantiatiou : 
that, as now, tliev prayed to the saints, prayed for the dead. It is also shown that Lucar 
manifested, not the sentiments of hisco-rel(>rlonists, but his own opinlons-a fact prove<l by 
himself when he proposed his doctrine as one he would like to introduce amonjr the (ireeks. 
In the last two voliunes of the Prrpetuitu. the doctrine of the Catholic and schismatic Greek 
Churches is c<mipared with that of the Nestorians. who were separated from Home in the 
fifth century, and with that of the Eutvchlans, or Jacobites, who Iwcame schismatics in the 
Bixtli. Then follows an exposition of the belief and of the discipline of the Etiiioplans, 
Egyptian Copts, Maronltes, and of the Nestorians scatter«d throuifhout Persia and India. 


treatises of many Greek doctors. Then follow eighteen 
chapters, in which the synodals declare that man's free-will 
was not destroyed by the fall of Adam ; that faith alone 
will not justify ; that there are seven Sacraments ; that 
Baptism cleanses from original sin ; that in the Eucharist 
ihe substance of the bread and wine is really changed into 
the substance of the Body and Blood of Christ ; that the 
saints are to be invoked as friends of God ; that their 
images are to be venerated ; that we must receive all tra- 
ditions given us by the Church, which, being taught by the 
Holy Ghost, cannot err. 

Disappointed in their hopes of union with some ecclesias- 
tical body of comparative antiquity, the Calvinists ac- 
■couuted for the adverse action of the schismatic Synods by 
the supposition of Latin bribery. Thus, in 1722, appeared 
the book of Cowell, an Englishman, who tried to prove that 
fraud was behind the apparent agreement of the Eoman 
and schismatic doctrines. Mosheim affects to discover, in 
the history of the Lucar affair, that Catholic polemics do 
not scruple at dishonesty when disputing with heretics. 
Now it is false that the Greek bishops who condemn the 
"Western " reformers " were partial to the Latins. Cyril of 
Berea, like many other schismatic prelates and priests of 
his time, may have died, as Mosheim asserts, in the Eoman 
■communion, but the dominant spirits of the Synods in 
question would have rivalled a Scotch covenanter in hatred 
of Rome. Nectarius, an ex-patriarch of Jerusalem, com- 
posed an energetic diatribe Against the Primacy of the Pope ; 
Dositheus, the president of the Synod of Jerusalem, pub- 
lished, in 1683, many works of Simeon of Thessalonica, in 
which this writer severely upbraids the Latins. Again, if 
these Greek adversaries of the " Reformation " were act- 
uated by a desire of pleasing Rome, why did they, in these 
very Synods, so strenuously assert their peculiar dogma 
•concerning the Procession of the Holy Ghost? Finally, 
how is it that the Greeks, so bitter against the Holy See, 
so tenacious of their own distinctive doctrines, did not de- 
pose Dositheus, Nectarius, Parthenius, etc. ? 

From the day of her separation from Rome, the Greek 


Churcli, once so active, has been in a state of lethargy, dis- 
playing none of that fecundity which Christ promised to 
His own spouse. " The prodigious ignorance and stupid 
superstition," says Feller, " in which the priests and people 
of this isolated church are involved, necessarily entail the 
great abuses and enormous disorders with which they are 
reproached. For centuries the Greeks can show no cele- 
brated doctor, no council worthy of attention. Their latest 
sages — Bessarion, AUatius, Arcudius, etc., — all belonged to 
the Church of Rome." 

Again we call the reader's attention to some reflections 
by Gagarin : 

*' Byzantism pretended to have for its object the exalta- 
tion and triumph of the Greek Church, empire, and natiou- 
ality. It sacrificed the unity and independence of the 
Church to that object, and what has been the result of the 
conflict which it provoked ? The ruin of the Greek Church, 
and consequently of the Greek empire and nationality. 
But God did not wish that this ancient and glorious church 
should perish. He raised up a new people, who seem to 
have the mission of re- establishing her in her pristine 
splendor. That people is the Slavic, and three-fourths of 
them belong to the Oriental rite, with this difi"erence, that 
their liturgical language is the (Old) Slavonic. One can 
not avoid being struck by the contrast between the Slavonic 
and Greek branches of the Oriental rite. The former 
possesses numbers, force, vigor, while the latter exhibits 
only feebleness and decrepitude. Laying aside every other 
argument, the figures will make this difterence palpable. 
It is estimated that all the Oriental Christians — Slavs, 
Greeks, Moldo-Wallachians or Roumanians, Georgians, 
etc., — number about seventy million souls, of whom nearly 
sixty millions are Slavs. If from the ten or twelve remain- 
ing: millions we deduct those who are not Greeks, we see to 
how small a number the Greeks are reduced, (ll. Now the 
.Slavs of the Oriental rite are nearly all subjects of the 
Russian Empire." 

(1) Bv the t«»nn •' (ireek."' Gajrarin does not hero indicate merely the subjects ol the 
moUeri. k.njfdoai, but all of the old Byzantine nationality. 


And now a few words as to the probability of a submis- 
sion of the Russian " orthodox " church to the Roman 
jurisdiction. The czar may devoutly Avish for union with. 
Rome. If he is a statesman, he must realize that the 
activity and zeal of a Pnpal clergy would be a great check 
to the growth of Nihilism. The more learned and more 
pious of the " orthodox " clergy — too few, alas ! in numl^er 
—may yearn for unity. But there is one obstacle, which, 
apparently, neither the once powerful inclinations of a czar 
nor the fast-decreasing influence of a corrupt clergy can 
overcome. When England shall have learned the wisdom 
of doing justice to Ireland, there may be hope that Russia 
will commence to doubt the wisdom of her policy toward 
her Ireland — unfortunate, noble, and exhausted Poland. 
But as yet, to the average Russian mind, Poland is a sub- 
ject only for the iron heel ; and Catholicism, to this mind, 
means Latinism, — i. e., Polonism. The Russian " patriot," 
therefore, regards any progress of Catholicism in " Holy 
Russia " as a progress of Polish nationality. 

Again, the Russian clergy have always systematically 
inculcated the idea that a reunion with Rome means the 
abolition of several institutions dear to the Russian heart — 
viz., Communion under both species, the use of fermented 
bread in the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Old Slavonic liturgy, 
and the marriage of the secular clergy. And here we must 
note that nothing can be more false than the idea enter- 
tained by most of the Eastern schismatics, that, whenever 
there has been a question of reunion with Rome, the Holy 
See has designed to force them to adopt the Latin rite and 
discipline. In refutation of this idea. Pope Benedict XIV., 
in his Bull Allatce sunt, quotes the words of Pope Innocent 
IV., who cited two Constitutions of Popes Leo X. and 
Clement VII., in which these Pontiffs vehemently reproved 
those Latins who blamed the Greeks for their observance 
of certain customs approved by the Council of Florence. 

The same Benedict XIV., speaking of those who were 
laboring for reunion, resumes their obligations as follows : 
They should disabuse the schismatics of those errors 
which their ancestors introduced, in order that they might 


have a pretext for withdrawing from the obedience of the 
Sovereign Pontiff. In every endeavor to convert said schis- 
matics, the greatest stress should be laid upon the writings 
of the earlv Fathers of the Greek Church, who are in perfect 
accord with the Latin Fathers. The Apostolic See has al- 
ways insisted that the Eastern Schismatics must not be urged 
to follow the Latin rite. And in our own day Pope Pius IX., 
in an Encyclical addressed to the Orientals, under date of Jan. 
6, 1848, uttered the same sentiments. Nevertheless, the idea 
is firmly fixed in Russian heterodox minds that union with 
Rome means the loss of their loved rite. This fact, added to 
the present sentiments of these minds regarding the burning 
question of Poland, would seem to indicate that there is little 
probability of a speedy submission of the Russian Church 
to the Holy See. (1) 


St. Leo IX. and Pius IX. — Civitella and Castelfidardo. 

In the year 1048, while the emperor, Henry III., was re- 
siding at Frisingen, deputies came to him from Rome, in- 
forming him of the death of Pope Damasus II., and asking 

(1) In reply to the assertion that, in spite of the declarations of many Roman Pontiffs, 
the Cathollt; missionaries have always tried to hving their converts of the Oriental rite Into 
the Latin rite, Gagarin. /or. ('17., says: " It is true that in the Ottoman Empire all 'the 
Catholic Greeks, excepting the Melchites of Syria, have passed over to the Latin rite. It is 
also true that in Poland the Latin rite has been adopted by many Catholic families who 
once belonged to the Greek rite. But we insist that these facts provti nothing against us. 
and that they are sufficiently explained by causes completely foreign to the actions c.fthe 
Holy See and of its missionaries. In Turkey, uiMMbti hatti-fiotunaiimuu of Feb. 18. IS."*, all 
the Christians of the Greek rite were placed under the (civil) authority of the patriarch of 
Constantinople; and when one of them renounced that prelate's communion to enter that 
of the Pope, it is evident that he was exposed to vexation by that personage, who, though 
no longer his spiritual, was still his temporal ruler. He had only one way of escaping 
persecution, and that was a withdrawal from the patriarch's civil juiisdiction when he 
left the schismatic communion. To elTect this withdrawal, he had to Join the Latin rite. 
These few words ought to explain how, in Greece and the Archiix'lago, all the Calliolic 
Greeks have been led to ahan<lon the (ireek rite. The concession made by the Sultan .\bclull 
Mijifl, on Feb. 18, 1850, deprived the patriarch of his civil authority over the co-nationals : 
but it has not yet been shown that the (Jreeks who were desirous of joining the Uoinan 
coiiuiuinioii, and who still i)referred to <'|jiig to their old rite, could do so with iiiipiiiiity. 
Let us judge, then, Whether they could have done so a century or two ago. In Poland the 
cir<'Uinstances were different, but the I'niled Hussians passed to the Latin rite because of 
similar iiUluences. In the Rei)ul)lic of Poland there were two rites, two languages, and two 
nationalities. The superiority was with the Poles ; and when the convert adopted the Latin 
rite, he assumed Polish natioiialiiy and entereii the ranks of the dominant people. Does 
not this stale of things exiilain the facts opposed to us?" 

N. H. As a sequel to this disiiuisition, we would direct the attention of the student to our 
essay entitled, " Heterodoxies of Modern Russian Orthodoxy," iu the Supplement at end of 
our Vol. VI. 


him to give the Church a new Pontiff (1). Henry did not 
hesitate to arrogate this office to himself, but nevertheless 
lie convoked the bishops and other grandees of the empire 
to consult concerning an election. The assembly was held 
Jit Worms, and its unanimous choice was Bruno, bishop of 
Toul, a cousin of the emperor Conrad, and an Alsatian. 
Undoubtedly Henry would have named a German, had he 
not feared to irritate the Romans, 

The writers of the time differ as to the conduct of Bruno 
vv'lien he was notified of his nomination. Accordinc to 
Otho of Frisingen (2), Bruno proceeded to Cluny, clothed 
in the Pontifical purple, and the prior Hildebrand — after- 
wards Gregory VII. — " immediately rebuked him, saying 
that it was illicit for any one to receive the Pontificate from 
lay hands." And Platina says that Bruno afterwards re- 
proached himself " because he had obeyed the emperor 
rather than God." But Wibert, who was Bruno's arch- 
deacon at Toul, tells us that his lord declared to the as- 
sembly at Worms : "I shall proceed to Rome, and if the 
Roman clergy and people freely choose me as Pontiff, I will 
comply with your wish ; " and the same is attested by St. 
Bruno, bishop of Segni, author of another Lifp of St. Leo 
IX. (3). At any rate, Bruno, accompanied by Hildebrand, 
whom the future Pontiff had providentially withdrawal 
from the solitude of Cluny, presented himself to the Romans 
in plain attire and b irefooted, saying, " The choice of the 
■clergy and people, as well as the authority of the Canons, 
.is superior to any other nomination ; if you do not elect 
me, I am ready to return to my own country." Then, ob- 
serves Otho of Frisingen, " by the advice of Hildebrand, 
all ancient usages were followed ; Bruno was elected Pope, 
and was enthroned Feb. 12, 1049. In his first Synod the 
new Pontiff made Hildebrand cardinal deacon. 

The attention of the new Pope was soon drawn to the 
miserable state of affairs in Southern Italy, wdiere an enemy, 
scarcely less barbarous and ferocious than the Moham- 
medan hordes who were infesting the Greek Empire, had 
introduced a reign of rapine, sacrilege, and murder. The 

<l) Lambkrt of Aschaffenburg ; year 1049. (2) B. vl., c 33. 

(3) See also Leo of Ostia, B. ii., no. 81. 


first establishments of the Xormans in Italy had been verj' 
feeble, but by degrees they had extended their dominatioD- 
over Italian barons, Greek lieutenants, and Saracen in- 
truders. At the time of which we write, Eobert Guiscard 
had proclaimed himself duke of the Puglia and of Calabria ; 
and, having turned his terrible arms against the Campagna 
— attracted more bv lust of wealth than bv desire of con- 
quest. — he had spread devastation over a hitherto fertile 
and opulent province, and had usurped the Papal duchy of 

Moved with pity for the oppressed populations, who, to 
avoid the llames which destroyed their less fortified towns, 
had sought refuge in the mountain fastnesses, and fearful 
also lest Rome itself should fall a prey to a modern Alaric, 
Pope Leo remembered that he was a king as well as a Pon- 
tiff, and that his sceptre was meant to protect as well as to 
rule his people. He called upon his own subjects and the 
other Italians for volunteers. The inhabitants of Ancona, 
of the Puglia, and of the Campagna sent their quotas to his 
standard ; but Leo well understood that their devotion 
would avail little against the disciplined forces of the Nor- 
man. Therefore he requested rhe Byzuntine emperor, 
whose own interests were involved, to send Jiim some veter- 
an troops. In his letter to the sovereign, his Holiness says : 
"As we are told in Wisdom, no one can change him whom 
God rejects, and the fool is not corrected by words. So 
it is with tho malice of this people : every day they grow 
worse. Therefore, not only wishing to use my temporal 
resources for the liberation of the flock of Christ but also 
desiring to devote myself to that work. I have thought 
that nothing will more manifest the wickedness of these 
men, or more quickly repress their obstinacy, than the use 
of human weapons. For I learn from the Apostle that 
princes do not hold the sword without reason, and that 
they are the ministers of the anger of God. punishers of 
those who work evil." (1) 

The Greek emperor answered with fair words, but no 
aid arrived. Then Leo journeyed into the wilds of Pan- 

vl) MiGNE's Patrology, vol. 143., p. 449. 

•ST. LEO IX- AND I'lL'S IX. 1^'.^ 

monia, where Henrj- III. was at the head of an army, and 
he besought that emperor's assistance. He obtained only 
-five hundred veterans, but with this small reinforcement he 
led his army — otherwise composed of Pontifical infantry 
and Lombard pikemen — into the Capitanata, in June, 1053. 
On the approach of Leo, the Normans sf-nt him an embassy, 
offering to become tribatarj- to the Holy See ; but the Pon- 
tiff would accept of no conditions short of their entire 
evacuation of Italy. (1) Then occurred the battle of Ci- 
Titella, called by some Dragonara. The'Pontifical army was 
nearly destroyed, and the Pope, who had watched the 
■combat at a little distance, was captured by the victors. 

Then was witnessed an extraordinary event— conquerors 
kneeling at the feet of the conquered. As the Pontiff, pre- 
ceded by the cross, came forward to meet his captors, they 
prostrated themselves before him, imploring his mercy. (2). 
Then they conducted their prisoner to Benevento, where 
-for the space of nine months he was honorably entertained 
by count Hunfrid. Profoundly afflicted at the loss of his 
faithful soldiers, many of whom were his own relatives and 
friends, Leo did not retire to his couch during the whole 
time of his captivity, but took his necessary sleep on the 
stone pavement of his cliamber ; he fasted beyond measure, 
and completely despoiled himself for the sake of the poor. 

The Xormans were soon glad to withdraw from their 
anomalous position, especially as they were surrounded by 
enemies— Italians, Greeks, Germans, and Saracens. Ee- 
flecting on the great advantages they would derive from the 
favor of the Roman Pontiffs, they not only offered peace 
and liberty to their venerable prisoner, but implored him 
to receive them as vafisah. to the Holy See, swearing to 
defend it against all enemies, in return for the Papal inves - 
titure of their conquest in the two Sicilies. St. Leo IX. 
readily accepted the offer, and on March 12, 1054, he 
departed from Benevento and arrived in due time at Eome, 
where he died April 19 of the same year. 

The conduct of St. Leo IX. in the matter of the Norman 

(1) Accordli«r to Gaufridm Malawrira >Huff'>ry. B. i.. W/. and Hermann Contractuj. 
(ChToniflei the Pontiff would have zctyhpiad the offer of the Normans : bat tne ''*'™^ 
auxillan^ arrojrantlv relie'l on their suj^erlor size, and thouirht it would terrtly tbe enemy. 

(2) SiiJMONDi. vol. i.. p. :^'J; WiBEET. " Life of St. Ltj) /X." 

140 STUDIES IN cnuEcn nisTor.Y. 

usurp. ition of his territories has V)een severely criticised : 
even St. Peter Daraian reproved bini for appealing to the 
temporal sword. However, hist'.rv tells us of no Pope who 
voluntarily surrendered any portion of the patrimony of St. 
Peter because of a scruple to adopt material force in its 
defence. If Julius II. was the only Pontiff who himself led 
his troops to battle, many others have, from time to time, 
called renowned warriors to the service of the Holy See : 
and these Gonfakjnieri, or captains of the Church, as they 
were styled, held their commissions as the most honorable 
that their profession could afford them. In 1084, Robert 
Guiscard^ once the foe of St. Leo IX., was called by St. 
Gregory VII. to defend Rome against Henry IV. of Germany. 
In 1370, Louis I., of Hungary, aided Urban V. against the 
Florentines. Martin V. created the great Sforza Gonfaloni- 
ere of the Church. Frederick Malatesta fought for Pius II., 
Paul IL, and Sixtus IV. ; Robert Malatesta served the last 
named Pope, and when mortally wounded received the 
Sacraments from the Pontifical hands. Under St. Pius V. 
fought Marcantonio Colonna. the hero of Lepanto. and in 
our own days the Catholic world glorifies the memory of 
Leon Juchault de Lamoriciere. 

None of these leaders, and not one of the Popes who 
employed them, felt any of the scruples affected by the 
enemies of the Holy See. No such scruples were enter- 
tained by those Pontiffs who, during four centuries, were 
the soul of the resistance made by the civilized world to 
the inroads of barbarous Islamism • and precisely because 
those Pontiffs did use the temporal sword in defense of 
religion and of the right, the crescent does not shine to-day 
over every capital in Europe. From St. Leo IX. to Pius 
IX., each Pope who has drawn the sword in defence of his 
temporal dominion has done only what the world admires- 
in all other kings. It is carious, tlierefore, that we should 
so often hear men counselling the Popes to answer the inva- 
ders of their territories with a benediction. 

The idea of the Supreme Pontificate is as contrary to 
that of aggressive warfare, as is the idea of the priesthood to 
that of violence. Meekness is not only appropriate to the 


successor of St. Peter ; it is the duty of his office, aud he 
should ever remember the saying that " the Churcli abhors 
blood." And meekness has ever been, as a rule, the char- 
acteristic of the Pope-Kings. But when his States, the 
patrimony of the Church, are attacked, meekness and 
inactivity on his part would be culpable. It is not our 
province to prove the necessity of temporal sovereignty, as 
an aid and guarantee for the liberty of the Church ; that 
has been done so effectually by writers of every kind, and 
in every quarter of the globe, that he who now denies that 
necessity must be either woefully ignorant or wilfully blind 
to the truth. But this much we will say: in this matter 
there is not a mere question of maintaining a reigning dynas- 
ty, although even that may sometimes be a holy cause. In 
the cause of the Pope-King, is involved the question wheth- 
er or not society is to fall under the domination of mere 
brutal force, for to such barbarism must society come, if 
the profession of Christianity is denied it. That the pro- 
fession is only possible with a free, that is, sovereign 
Pontiff, is admitted by the more frank of the enemies of the 
Church, and is asserted by the entire Catholic episcopate 
(1). Why then should not the Pope defend his temporal 
rights, if necessary, even with the armed hand ? He was not 

(1) On the 18tli June 1859, Pope Plus IX., in an Apostolic Letter addressed to all the bish- 
ops notified the world of the robbery just eoDsummated in the four Lections : on the 
aoth, in a Consistorial Allocution, he declared the robbers excommunicated ; on the 2Gth 
Sept', in another Allocution, he protested aeainst the pretended anne.ratinu of the ^Emelia 
to the Sardinian kingdom ; and on Jan. 19, I8(J0, in an Encyclical, he informed Christen- 
dom why, in his letter to Napoleon HI., under date of the 31st December, he had rejected all 
offers of compromise. Hi., revered and authoritative words were immediately echoed by 
the bishops of the World. In all ecclesiastical history, there is no such record of unanimity 
on the part of the episcopal body, in a matter not directly entering into the domain of 
faith as the reader will find in the Immense collection entitled lite Temporal SovercUpitii 
of the Roiiuui Pimtitfx Defended in its Integritu hii tlic Suffmae of the Cathoiic World, 
in the Fourteenth Year of the Reifin of Pius IX. ; Rome. IWiO. The proposition asserted 
by the bishops mav be epitomised as ff)llo\vs : I. It is necessnry for the liberty of the 
Church, at least in the present condition of society, that the Pontiff possess, in a temporal 
sovereignty, a perfect indeiiendence, an 1 a ma^ter'^hip of his own acts ; so much so. that, 
without such sovereignly, rersecution and servitude would be the lot of the Church. Hence, 
although the matter of this quf'stion of the te;nporal power mav tie political, nevertheless 
since that power is sacred in its object, the said question assumes a religious aspect. II. 
To this flttiRo-ness or neces.jfy. Providenfe h-i« supplied, bv niHaus of a principality the 
most ancient^ most legitimate, and least disputed, of all those of modern Europe— a priuci- 
7)alitv constituted with the fon pn^ of peoples and of nrinces as a patrimony of the Church, 
and a monarchy hereditary in the successors of Peter; nor. for any reason whatever, 
(■ 111 liny portion of it '■►- vfiil "rU- usurped. Wf'Mmt grave injurv to the whole and a no less 
(I'Ugerto the rest. Ill The Supreme Pontifl -ate, far from preventing the Popes from 
V ii/nrr t'leir states pro'ier'v, grt'atlv a^^Hts them in so doincr: and the pretended discontent 
of tlip Papal subjects, where not studiously e.xcited by the spoliators, is a calumnious in- 
\ .-.itioii. unless, in 'eed, we are to rega'-d as the peonlf thosf few who abhor the Pontif cal 
"oveniinent, merely because it is Christian. In defending these propositions, the bishops, 
of -.lire, did not mean to present a matter of faith ; but, inasmuch as they have reference 
to the practii-al principles according to which the faithful should govern their thoughts 
r.i'.d actions, 've cannot see how the propositions can be questioned by any one unwilling 
x> ii-cnr ..he note of rashncsn. 


blamed when his police arrested, or his courts punished 
the ordinary criminals of society ; why should he be re- 
proved for resisting the enemies of society at large ? 

There is much similarity between the campaign of St. 
Leo IX. against the Normans, and the unfortunate yet 
glorious one which the Papal troops undertook in 1860. In 
both cases the enemy was composed of baptized persons, 
professing no heresy, but apparently glorying in the creed 
of Rome. However, in the case of St. Leo IX., the Pontiff 
himself marched against the invader ; whereas in the cam- 
paign of Castel Ficiardo the little Papal army, organized to 
■deal only with the hordes of Garibaldi concentrated on the 
Neapolitau frontier, and expecting no attack from the regu- 
lar troops of Sardinia, (1) were suddenly and treacherously 
assailed on their own territory. " Impious men ! " said 
Pope Pius IX., " of whom the Almighty now makes use in 
order to punish the sins of all, but to disperse them and 
punish them in the day of his fury,— trampling on the law 
oi God, cursing the voice of the Holy One of Israel, and 
ceasing not to wage most cruel war on the Church and this 
Apostolic See. Possessed by the spirit of Satan, they have 
excited the peoples of Italy to rebellion ; they liave unjust- 
ly expelled legitimate princes, and have disturbed all things 
human and divine ; during the past year they have invaded 
our States, sacrilegiously occupying some of our provinces, 
and now they try to invade and usurp the rest." (2). 

These aggressors, said the same Pontiff, " for a long time 
have waged war against the Catholic Church, her ministers, 
and her property; and, caring nothing for ecclesiastical 

fl) The battle of CastelQdardo was fouRlit ScirfenilwT 18. It was only on tlic lOih that 
Lainoricit'i-e was inforni.'.i hv ('apt- rarmU nUi-dv-mmv of Gen. Fanti. the SanliiiKui war- 
nilnister an-i nnnmander-in-ctiief. that, in eertain (iesonbed eases, the li'oops of Kiiin 
Victor Kiiiiuaimel would cross the frontier. In answer, the hero of ( onstantina replied: 
" What von propose to me is a shame and a dishonor— viz., to evaenate witlioia comhat the 
provinces which it is my duty to defend. It would have been more candid on the part of 
the kimrot Piedmont and his trenerals had they at once declared war on lis. But, despite 
the numerical preponderance of the Sardinian army, we shall not foiiret that, on certain 
occasions officers and snldiei-s must not count the enemy s numbers, nor spare their own 
lives in preservintr theoutraL'ed hmior of the irovernment they serve. .\nd, as late as 
September bS the Puke de (iramoiit, Krencb embassailor at the \ atican, teleirraphed the 
folldwin"- to the French V1ce-(<insnl at .Micona : " The emperor has written from Marseilles 
to the kin" of Sardinia, that, if the Piedmoiiiese troops enter the pontitlcal territory, he will 
be forced^to oppoM' them, onlers have already been ffiven to embark troops at Toulon, 
and these reinforcement will soon arrive. The Imperial (iovernineiit will not tolerate the 
culpable aiTKression of the Sardinian (iovernment ; as Vice-Consiil of France, you will 
reirulate your course hy this information." (See Lamorielere's "Report ' to the Papal 

Minister (if War.) _ . c ,.-, lo.-n 

(2) Letter to the chaplalu-in-ehief of the Papal army, Sep. 10. 18t)0. 


laws or censures, they liave dared to imprison illustrious 
cardinals and bishops and most worthy members of both 
the secular and regular clergy, to expel religious com- 
munities from their cloisters, to appropriate the goods of 
the Church, and to subvert the civil principality of this 
Holy See. . . . They open public schools for the teaching of 
every false doctrine ; with abominable writings and theatri- 
cal representations, they offend and banish all modesty, 
chastity, honesty, and virtue ; they despise the holy mys- 
teries and the Sacraments, the precepts, institutions, 
ministers, rites, and ceremonies of our holy religion, and 
try to banish all justice from the earth, and to destroy the 
very foundations of religion and of civil societ}^" (1) 

The use of military force, therefore, was a duty incum- 
bent upon Pius IX., just as it had been on his predecessor, 
the Ninth Leo, But we must here remark that in the days 
of St. Leo IX. no one thought of reproving, still less of 
insulting, the soldiers of the Pope. No Norman knight 
threw the stigma of " mercenary " in the faces of the de- 
fenders of the patrimony of St. Peter ; such mendacious 
discourtesy was reserved for a Cialdini and a Fanti to 
display to a Lamoriciere, a Pimodan, a Charette, and the 
hundreds of scions of the noblest blood of Brittany and 
Belgium, who abandoned wealth and comfort for the 
defense of the freedom of the Chair of Peter. (2) 

They who were killed at Civitella, fighting under the 
standard of the Keys, were hailed as martyrs, alike by Pon- 
tificals and penitent Normans ; and when the holy Leo IX. 
was seized with Ims last illness, he said to his weeping 
attendants : "The time of my departure approaches. Last 

(1) Allocution, Sep. 28, I860. _ . ,.,,■,, 

(3) Read the following proclamation of the Sardinian minister of war : Foreitrn bauds 
from every part of Europe have carried into Umbria and the Marches the belied standard 
of a relio-ion at which they scoff. Without eouutrv or roof, they provoke and insult the 
populations to have a pretext to master them. Such martyrdom must cease, and such 
Insolence is to be suppressed by our sueconnR, with our arms, those unfortunate sons wf 
Italy who have vainlv hoped for .iustice and mercy from their government. We sliall fulfll 
the mission confided to us bv klug Victor Emmanuel : let Europe know that Italy is no 
longer the rendezvous and the prize of the most audacious or fortunate adventurer, trom 
Headquarters in Arezzo, Si'pt. 11, 18G(). The MinMcr of War, cninmancht-in-chuif of 
the CnrpA of Orcmxttinn in the Mftrehexmul Umhria: M. Fanti. The following morsel 
from Cialdini is exquisite : '• Soldiers of the 4th Corps d'Armee ! I lead you against a hera 
of foreign drunkards, whom thirst of gold and lust of plunder have attracted to our country. 
Fight, destroy inexorably these hired assassins; and let them feel, by your hand, the ire of a 
people desirous of their nationality and independence. Soldiers! Unrevenged I erugia 
demands satisfaction, anri thousrh tardily, will have it. The GenernJ Commniidmfi the mi 
Corps d'Armee: Enrico Cialdit^i." Civilt-ACattoUca, in its Newaof theDay, s. iv, vol.8. 


night I saw in a vision the heavenly land ; and among oth- 
er things, I saw crowned as martyrs those who fell in the 
Puglia fighting for the Church. With one voice they all 
said to me : ' Come and dwell with us ; for it was through 
thee that we attained this glory.' " {!) 

It was not given to Lamoriciere to crown with his death 
for Holy Church one of the most glorious military records 
which even the history of France can furnish. Bat he 
became the generous envy of every Christian soldier, and 
as a prisoner of war for the Roman Pontiff he was greater 
than when amid his triumphs at Medeah, Mascara, and 
Constantina. " I found myself," he wrote in his " Report " 
to Mgr. de Merode, " before a question of duty and honor ; 
and if, in my resolutions, I had at all considered the gravi- 
ty of the danger probably awaiting us, my old companions 
in arms of the French army would have disowned me." 


The Pontificate of St. Gregory VII. 

Above all the historical personages of the eleventh cen- 
tury, there towers the figure of one person of such pre- 
eminent calibre, that certain historians have felt themselves 
compelled to designate that century by his name. As 
devout children of the Catholic Church, ready to accept 
any true glorification of her earthly head, we too would be 
willing to call that age the Hildebrandine •, but when Prot- 
estant authors and court-theologians use this term in 
regard to the century which was honored and fructified by 
Pope St. Gregory VII., they adopt it rather as a slur upon 
that period ; they imply, says Palma, that the name of 
Hildebrand should be assigned to that age which he 
■' greatly afflicted," just as the names of Novatian, Arius, 
Nestorius. Pliotius, etc., are rightly used to designate the 
centuries accursed by their influence. If we may credit 
tlu" ()|iiiii(in of ]\rosheim (2). Gregory^VII. sim]ily triod to 

.1) BolliiiKlists, April 11. ('.') ('int. xi.. /•• •■i. c. ■,'. 


subjugate the universe to his temporal behests ; if we may 
belie^"e the Anglican Potter (d. 1747), Gregory would have 
better consulted his reputation for sanctity, if he had only 
tried to be a learned and virtuous monk. (1). Of the justice 
of these views the reader will judge when he has read the 
short sketch of this Pontificate which we propose to give, 
and the following chapters on the questions in which 
Gregory took so prominent a part. 

Alexander II. having died in May, 1073, the cardinals im- 
mediately elected to the Pontificate the cardinal Hilde- 
brand, who, born in 1018 at Soana in Tuscany, had been 
taken from among the monks of Cluny by Leo PS. and at- 
tached to tlie immediate service of the Koman Churcli. 
His diplomatic and other labors during the reigns of Leo 
IX., Victor II, Stephen IX., Nicholas II., and Alexander IL, 
had already shown him to be worthy of the encomium of 
St. Peter Damian, writing to Pope Nicholas IL, that he was 
*' a man of most holy and most pure counsel." A man of 
great intellect, of mortified habits, and inflexible in regard 
to the rights of the Koman See, and concerning everything 
pertaining to clerical discipline, he was scarcely settled in 
the Chair of Peter before he launched the lightnings of the 
Vatican on all simoniacs, and all married and concubinary 
priests. So widespread were the disorders of simony and 
concubinage among the clergy, thanks to the iniquitous 
system of princely investiture, which filled the ecclesiastical 
benefices with incumbents who possessed no ether qualifi- 
cation than the good will of the great, that everywhere, 
more especially in Lombardy and in Germany, the decrees 
of the Pontiff were productive of tumults and even bloody 
outbreaks. Gregory's zeal for the temporal rights of his 
See, together with regard for the well being of the vassals 
of Koman Church, caused him to threaten with excommuni- 
cation the Norman Guiscard, who had conquered a great 
portion of the Two Sicilies, a fief of tlie Holy See, and who 
delayed his due homage and oath of fidelity to the Pontiff. 
Guiscard finally obeyed, as did Philip I. of France, who 
consented, under the same threat of excommunication, to 

(1) Spirit of the Church, ttc, vol. v., pt. 2, b. 2. 


repair many injuries done to liis own subjects and to certain 
Italian merchants in his dominions. 

Eleven different Councils were held at Borne during tlie 
twelve years of Gregory's Pontificate. In the First, held in 
1074, the Pontiff decreed (1) : " That all who have been 
promoted to the grade and office of Holy Orders by the 
liTcsy of simony, that is, by the use of money, hereafter 
hold no place of miuistr}' in Holy Church. Those who 
obtain churches by gifts of money, let them lose their 
positions altogether." In this Synotl, married and inconti- 
nent priests were interdicted from the celebration of mass ; 
deacons and subdeacons in the same condition were ex- 
cluded from the sanctuary. Lambert of Aschaffenburg tells 
us that when these decrees reached Germany, the married 
clergy called Gregory " a heretic, who, forgetful of the 
words of the Lord, that ' all do not understand this word,' 
would compel men to lead the life of angels .... that they 
would sooner abandon the priesthood than the married 
state." The Second Council was held in 1075, and in it 
Gregory prohibited all Christians from hearing the masses 
of married priests." The imperialist Sigebert, in his over- 
wrought zeal for Henry IV., insinuates that the Pontiff forgot 
that the mass of even a married priest was valid ; but Greg- 
ory's words show that he did not deny the validity of any or- 
dained priest's mass ; that he only wished " that those who 
would not be corrected by the love of God, and for the dig- 
nity of their office, would be influenced by the judgment of 
the world and by the reproof of the people." In this Synod, 
Gregory excommunicated several friends and counsellors 
of Henry IV., who were in the habit of selling bishoprics, 
etc., namely, the bishops Otho of Eatisbon, Otho of Con- 
stance, Burchard of Lausanne ; the counts Eberhard and 
LTdalric. Here also was issued the celebrated decree 
against royal investiture. The Third Council was celebrat- 
ed in 1076, and herein were excommunicated king Henry 
IV., the archbishop Sigefrid of Mentz, the bishops William 
of Utrecht and liobert of Bamberg. Of this Synod we shall 
have occasion to speak hereafter. The Fourth Council was 

(1) KpiKllc i)f Grig'>r]i tothc liislioii »f Cutistiinvc. ^[4RlANl:s ScoTUS, Clirntiicli', 
year 1074. 


held m 1078, and was composed of a hundred bishops and 
a large number of abbots and clerics. Herein the arch- 
bishops of Milan and Kavenna, who, as we shall see, incited 
Henry IV. to another outbreak after his simulated penance 
at Canossa, were deposed from every sacerdotal ministry. 
In this Synod a decree was issued for the protection of the 
shipwrecked, and for the condemnation of piratical wreck- 
ers. The Fifth Council was celebrated in the same year, 
1078, and in it the legates of Henry and of his rival, Ku- 
dolph, swore that they would not interfere with the Papal 
legates sent into Germany to settle their respective claims. 
The Sixth Council was convened in 1079, and in it Beren- 
garius, for the second time, retracted his heresy, and made 
a third Profession of Faith. Then the legates of Henry and 
Rudolph promised that a convention for the final settling 
of their masters' dispute should be held in Germany, m the 
presence of the Pontiff or of his legates. The Seventh Coun- 
cil met in 1080, and it condemned princely investitures, 
prohibiting any one to sit among bishops or abbots who 
had received his episcopal or abbatial investiture from a 
layman, and interdicting him from entrance into a church 
until he had resigned his benefice. The Eighth Council 
was held in 1081, and it confirmed the excommunication of 
Henry IV. and of all his abettors. The archbishops of 
Aries and Narbonne were deposed, and Ildimund and 
Lando, tyrants of Champagne, were anathematized. The 
Ninth Council met in 1083, and in it, as two of Gregory's 
epistles show (1), the Pontiff showed himself not unwill- 
ing to come to an accommodation with Henry ; but, as we 
shall see, the wickedness of the king rendered hope of 
peace impossible. The Tenth and Eleventh Councils met 
in 1084, and both repeated the anathemas against the 
anti-Pope Guibert and Henry. 

We shall devote a chapter to the treatment of the ques- 
tion of investitures. Here we merely observe that Gregory 
VII. was too far-seeing a man not to know that an endeavor 
to wrench so great a power from the hands of the usurping 
princes would be attended by apparently insurmountable 

(1) B. 9, epfot. 3, to Altmann of Passau ; and epist. 28, To All the Faithful. 


difficulties. He knew that Henry IV., the young king of 
Germany and expectant emperor, bad triumphed over all his 
enemies at home, and was free to send his victorious troops 
into Itah'. But, under God, he relied upon the greater part 
of the clergy, who were desirous of throwing off the yoke of 
this terrible usurpation, and upon the aid of the powerful 
Matilda, countess of Tuscany, as well as upon that of Rob- 
ert Guiscard, who was bound by gratitude and vassallage to 
the Holy See. 

Before the storm in Germany burst forth in its utmost 
fury, the Pontiff was greatly afHicted by disorders in Lom- 
bardy and by an outrage against his own person in Rome, 
both of which events were produced by his inflexible sever- 
ity in the matter of ecclesiastical celibacy. Erlembald, 
archbishop of Milan, having adopted rigorous measures 
aorainst the violators of the Canons, was attacked in the 
open street by these gentry and their friends, and after a 
bloody and obstinate resistance on the part of his , cortege, 
was stretched dead on the pavement. In Rome, on Christ- 
mas eve, while the Pontifl' was assisting at the divine office 
in St. Mary Major's, one Cencio, prefect of the city, burst 
into the sanctuary at the head of an armed band, dragged 
the Pope from the altar, and carried him prisoner to a for- 
tified tower which the noble brigand possessed in tlie city. 
When the sacrilege was made known to the people, they 
rushed to arms, forced an entrance to the tower, and found 
the wretched Cencio kneeling before Gregory, begging him 
to save his life. The Pontiff forgave him and assisted him 
and his family to depart from Rome, imposing upon him^ 
however, the penance of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. (1). 
In the year 1076 the question of investitures resolved itself 
into open war between the Pope and the German king. The 
Pontift' h;id tried every peaceful measure to induce the 
young Henry to renounce the usurpation of his predeces- 
sors, but the haughty monarch was inflated by liis recent 
victories over the Saxons, and was, besides, n^t very 
scrupulous in religious matters. Hence he loudly pro- 
claimed that the conceding of investiture to bishops, abbots, 

a) Lambert of Ascbuffenburj? and Paul Brledensis. 


etc., was an iualienable riglit of his crown, and he was 
eagerly supported by the many whose interest it was to 
perpetuate what was a source of immense revenue to both 
king and courtiers. At length, tired of advising, praying, 
and threatening, Gregory published the decree against in- 
vestitures which had been issued in his Second Synod in 
1075. Henry grew furious, and in his turn, called a Diet at 
Worms, composed of his partisan bishops and many of the 
Jiigher German nobles. By this convention the Pontiff 
himself was declared excommunicated ; his election was 
pronounced null and void, as having been made without 
the consent of the king, and his deposition from the Pon- 
tificate was proclaimed. To this presumptuous and sacrile- 
gious proceeding Gregory answered with a solemn excom- 
munication of Henry and all his abettors, declaring him 
deposed from his throne, and pronouncing his subjects free 
from their obligation of allegiance. Henry now sent emis- 
saries through Germany and Italy to excite the princes, 
bishops, and people against the Pontiff. He even sent an 
audacious ecclesiastic into the Pope's presence, who, in the 
name of the king, ordered Gregory. " the intruder, " to make 
room for a legitimate Pontiff. The people would have torn 
ihis miserable man to pieces, had Gregory himself not pro- 
tected him. But the censures of the Vatican soon told upon 
the princes, clergy, and people of Germany. Although 
many of the clergy were incontinent and simoniacal, the 
idea of being governed by an excommunicated monarch was 
horrible to them ; and although Henry, rightly dreading the 
■effect of their influence upon the people, now showered 
favors upon them, he experienced the mortification of be- 
holding a Diet, convoked sucessively at Utrecht, Oppeulieim, 
and Tribur, proclaiming his deposition from the throne. 
Immediately the great princes and the nobles, with few 
exceptions, abandoned the disgraced Henry; some even 
prepared to attack him and force him to an abdication. 
Then it was that the cowering monarch resolved to submit 
to necessity, and throw himself at the feet of the Pontiff. 
Disbanrling his' troops, and dismissing the f^w princes inul 
nobles wlio still clung to his standard, he crossed the Al])S 


with a small retinue, in the midst of a most rigorous winter, 
and prepared to submit to his priestly adversary. 

At this time Pope Gregory had left Kome with the inten- 
tion of proceeding to Germany, at the request of the prin- 
ces, to there pronounce sentence upon all points in dispute 
between the Papacy and the empire. He was resting in the 
strong fortress of Canossa, one of the strongholds of the 
"great Countess," Matilda, when an embassy from Henry 
appeared at the gates and besought an audience. The 
embassadors were Amadeo, count of Savoy, Albertazzo, 
count of Este, and the abbot of Cluny. The}' informed 
Gregory that Henry had come, almost alone and without 
arms, to beg pardon of his spiritual father and to be recon- 
ciled with the Church of God. Henry then presented 
himself outside the fortress, dressed in sackcloth, bare- 
headed and bare-footed, in spite of the cold, and begged 
admission. After some delay he was introduced, entirely 
alone, but only into the outworks, and there he passed three 
days and three nights, no one approaching him even with a 
word of comfort. On the fourth day he was admitted into 
the presence of the Pontiff, and was absolved, on condition 
that he would conduct himself as an excommunicated per- 
son until the assembling of the Diet at Augsburg, when a 
definite judgment would be pronounced in his case. (1). 
Wlien the tidings of this humiliation of Henry reached the 
ears of his partisans in Lombardy, who were far more bitter 
than the Germans against the Pontiff, they became so in- 
dignant at what they styled Henry's lack of firmness, that, 
on his passiag through their countiy while on his return to 
Germany, he not unfrequently found the gates of the cities 
and castles shut in his face. Then it was that the monarch 

(1) The historian Leo, aGennan and a Protestant, in his IIMum nf It<thi, h- iv., c. 4, S .">, 
writes : Some (ierinan writers <lescrilic ttie ei)iso(lc at Canossa as an insult of an arrofraiit 
prelate to tin; (iernian nation. This blindness is unwortliy of an enlisrhtened iieople. I^t 
us, for an Inslani. lay aside the prejudices born of l'r<ite>tantisin and national pride, and 
let us entertain a truly Protestant freedom of Ihoiitrhl. We behold in (ire^ory a man 
issued from a class eii.ioyinjr m(i iiiilili<-al privileircs, a man relyiuir oidy on the force of his 
own trenius and of his own will, raisimr a vdilliMl institution, the Church, out of abjection, 
and jzivint.' to it a splendur hitherto unknown. In Henry, on the contrary. w(> s(^e a man — 
if luMuerits that name— whos'- father beiiueuthed him an almost absolute power over a 
brave and rich peoi)le, and who, in spite of such plentitude of external means, has been 
drawn by his base character into the mud of the worst vices ; we see this person bei'ome an 
abject suppliant, and, after trampliiiK on all that men hold as most sacred, tremblinpr at 
the voice of an Intellectual hero, of limited spirit. Indeed, is the one wIhmu national van- 
ity can so blind, that he will not exult at the triumph, effected at Canossa, of a most pro- 
found genius over a vile and characterless num." 


showed liow insincere had been his submission at Canossa. 
In order to prevent his partisans from entirely abandoning 
him, he listened to the suggestions of the excommunicated 
archbishop of Kavenna, and openly and publicly violated 
the conditions of his absolution. He appeared before the 
army clothed in his royal robes, and declared himself ready 
to vindicate the royal dignity outraged by Gregory. When 
Gregory was informed of Henry's proceedings, he renewed 
the excommunication, and sending legates to Germany, 
convoked a Diet. Henry was there deposed, and the crown 
was offered to Kudolph, duke of Suabia. The Pontifical 
forces were then joined to those of the countess Matilda, 
and Gregory was fairly embarked in secular as well as spir- 
itual war. In this struggle no part was taken by Venice, 
Genoa, or Pisa, which republics were too intent upon the 
development of their commerce and industries, to interfere, 
unless they found their monetary interest in jeopardy. 
Eobert Guiscard also, for a time, remained neutral, as he 
found it enough to consolidate and extend his Sicilian 
dominions. The Norman, however, took advantage of 
Gregory's being fully occupied with Henry in the North, 
and invading the territories of the Church which lay in the 
southern Campagna, he besieged Benevento. It was then 
that Desiderio, the holy abbot of Montecassino and des- 
tined successor of Gregory, entered the camp of Guiscard 
and prevailed upon him to relinquish his ungrateful and 
sacrilegious enterprise. The war in Germany between 
the rivals Henry and Eudolph was waged with alternate 
success for three years, and in it there perished many 
bishops and ecclesiastics, who, according to the terms of 
their tenures as civil barons, owed military allegiance to 
the king, either personal or by substitute, for their do- 
mains, and who themselves were too frequently willing to 
don the cuirass. In his Seventh Synod, held in 1080, our 
Pontiff again declared Henry deposed from the German 
throne, confirmed the election of Kudolph, and sent the lat- 
ter a golden crown, inscribed " The rock {Pdra} gave the 
diadem to Peter, and Peter gave one to Rudolph." When 
Henry learned of this decisive step in favor of his adversa- 

152 sTUDiE::^ ::c church kistoky. 

TV, he convoked at Brixen a pretended Synod, whicli was 
composed of both his Italian and German partisans ; and 
he caused a proclamation to be made to the effect that 
Gregory was deposed, and that in his place was located 
Guibert, the excommunicated archbishop of Kavenna, 
under the name of Clement III. While Guibert was enroll- 
ing soldiers for a march upon Eome, Henry and Eudolph 
met, for the fourth time, in pitched battle, and Eudolph was 
slain. About the same time the heroic countess Matilda, 
ever true to the cause of the Church, saw her troops defeat- 
ed by those of Guibert. Henry now^ descended into Italy, 
at the head of a large army, with the avowed intention of 
installing Guibert in the chair of Peter, and of receiving 
from him the imperial crown. Many of Gregory's counsel- 
lors, seeing the present inability of Matilda, the Pontiff's 
great reliance, to assist the Holy See, advised him to come 
to terms with Henry. But the wise and determined Pope 
replied that, even if he coald bring himself to so humiliate 
the Holy See, which he never would do, it would not 
be prudent to confide in the promises of the perjured 
Henry. He therefore sent legates into Germany, who 
convoked a Diet of bishops and princes, and Hermann of 
Lorraine was chosen king of the Germans. The news of tliis 
election showed Henry that the Pontiff was inflexible and 
implacable in his regard. He therefore detached part of 
his army to occupy the attention of Matilda, and ordered 
the rest' to march on the Eternal City. When he arrived 
in the meadows of Nero, he found that the walls and towers 
of Eome were well- manned by an ardent citizen-soldiery, 
whom the harangues of Gregory had induced to aid liis 
few regular troops in the defence. For a short tim.' tlio 
monarch presided over the siege, but growing tired of inac- 
tivity, he turned over the guidance of this operation to his 
anti-Pope, and withdrew with a portion of his men, to join 
the army operating against Matilda. But he was able to do 
no more than devastate the outlying districts of Tuscany, 
for the countess, perceiving that her troops were too few 
to successfully cope with Henry in the open field, kept them 
within her castles and fortified cities. The enraged mon- 


arch now returned to the siege of Rome. In vain he ordered 
many assaults. Always repulsed, lip had made ujd his 
mind to await the slow effect of hunger upon the Romans, 
when treachery came to his aid during the Lent of 1084. 

The emperor Alexius Comnenus, hardly pressed, not only 
in his Sicilian dominions, but nearer to home, by his en- 
emy Guiscard, had offered Henry a large sum of money if 
he would direct his arms against the Norman. This money 
Henry had in liis camp, and he resolved to use it to im- 
mediate advantage. He succeeded in corrupting some of 
the citizens, upon whom the horrors of a strict blockade 
had begun to tell, and on the Thursday before Palm 
Sunday the Lateran gate, now called St. John's, was 
• opened. With his anti-Pope and army Henry entered the 
city, occupied the Lateran palace, the bridges over the 
Tiber, and most of the strategic points. Pope Gregory had 
: shut himself in the strong castle of San Angelo : and Henry, 
having received the imperial crown from Guibert, awaited 
the reduction of the fortress. But the monarch now 
learned that Guiscard had suddenly left the theatre of his 
victories in Greece, and that, having entrusted the prose- 
cution of his designs against Alexius to his son Bohemond, 
he was coming to the aid of his suzerain at the head of a 
powerful force. Henr}' felt that the previous campaign had 
left him too weak to meet Guiscard in the field, and he 
knew that Rome was not yet sufficiently provisioned to 
warrant its undergoing a new siege. Therefore, taking with 
him his precious anti-Pope, he evacuated the city, and 
directed his march to the north. Guiscard entered Rome 
the following day, and wickedly and unwisely allowed his 
soldiery to punish the treachery of a few of the Romans, 
by a wholesale sacking of the city. Gregory in vain tried 
to prevent the devastation, and as the Romans were natur- 
ally in a most irritated state of mind, he deemed it wise to 
accompany Guiscard into that prince's Sicilian dominions. 
Proceeding first to Montecassino, he finallj^ made his re- 
sidence in Salerno. In May of the following year, feeling 
that death was coming upon him, he summoned all the 
cardinals to his presence, and earnestly exhorted them to 


recognize as bis successor only a canonicallv elected) 
Dersou. Being asked wliom he would prefer for that office, 
he suggested as his lirst choice the cardinal Desiderio, 
abbot of Montecassino ; as his second, the cardinal Otho 
of Ostia, or Hugh, archbishop of Lyons. Fortified by the 
last sacraments, he passed from a stormy life, his final 
words being : " I have loved justice and hated inquity ; 
therefore I die in exile." 

Sigebert asserts that he " found it written," that, when 
Pope Gregory became aware of the approach of death, he 
rescinded his condemnation of Henry IV. : " The Apostolic 
lord Hildebrand, or Gregory, being at the point of death, 
called to himself one of the twelve cardinals whom he loved 
more than the rest, and avowed to God, and St. Peter, and 
the entire Church, that he had greatly sinned in the pas- 
toral office committed to him, and that, by the persuasion 
of the devil, he had excited hatred and anger in the human 

race He then sent the aforesaid confessor to the 

emperor and to the whole Church, that he might obtain, 

pardon, for he saw the end of life approaching and 

he abrogated all his decrees against the emperor, etc." 
But this interested discovery of the imperialist Sigebert is 
shown to be valueless by the testimony of grave contem- 
porary authors, such as Paul Briedensis and Hugh of 
Flavigny. The first writes : "The Blessed Pope Gregory, 
being asked whether he wished to absolve those whom lie 
had excommunicated, replied : ' I absolve and bless all 
who, without doubt, believe that I have this special power 
in the place of the Apostles Peter and Paul ; all excepting 
iJte said Ixhg and Guihert, the invader of the Apostolic See, 
and the principal persons who have aided their inquity 
by counsel or assistance." Hugh, abbot of Flavigny, in 
the Clironicle of Vrrdun, says : " knowing that the day of his 
summons was at hand, long before it he called together 
the cardinals, bishops, and his other fellow-captives, and 
predicted the day of his death. Having arranged all the 
affairs of the ecclesiastical government, on the 15th of the 
Calends of June he urged the aforesaid brethren, in the 
name of holy odedience, to presume not to keep silence if 


they knew of auytbing that he ought to correct. And when 
thev commended his course of life and his holy teachings, 
his morals and the fervor of his holy zeal, he forced them, 
by his Apostolic authority, to give him, one by one, their 
hands, and to promise that they would never receive that 
heretical invader of the Holy and Apostolic Church, unless 
perchance he canouically repented, and, deprived of all 
dignities of the ecclesiastical order, should offer a pure con- 
fession to the cardinals and bishops ; affirming and attest- 
ing that all should be forever condemned who would 
presume to communicate with the arch-pirate Henry, the 
usurper of the empire, unless, having laid aside the dignity 
of king, he should, according to command, do penance." 

Various indeed must necessarily be the judgments of 
critics upon such a Pontificate as that of Gregory YII. A 
modern author, much esteemed by the unitarians now at 
the helm in Italy, writes : " The Seventh Gregory was a 
Pontiff of pure life, austere virtue, and indomitable will. 
If human prudence can reproach him for an inflexibility 
which savors of excess, and for pretensions to a supremacy 
which may appear unlimited, we must not forget the enor- 
mity of the al3uses that he was obliged to correct, and the 
unbridled tryanny that he strove to repress. From his 
attack on the imperial power in Italy came the completion 
of the establishment of the Italian communes, which, be- 
cause the schism had enervated the authority of the 
imperial counts and of the prince-bishops of the cities, now 
commenced to elect their own magistrates." (1). Imperial- 
ist and Galilean writers generally hold that Gregory was 
so elated by his elevated views of his Apostolato that he 
wished everything, sacred and profane, to be prostrate at 
his feet. Alexandre is more moderate, when speaking of 
this Pontiff, than most authors of his school. For while he 
contends that " Gregory was the first Pope who claimed 
the power to depose kings, and this, also, against the 
teachings of the Fathers and of Scripture," he admits his 
sanctity and single-mindedness, and believes him to have 
been influenced, in his course toward Henry IV., bj tb.e 

SroRZosi, HUlorii of Italy, p. 286 ; Florence, 1858. 


opinion, " held by Gregory, by certain other Pontiffs, and' 
by some authors, that a change had come over the empire 
and the imperial dignity, when the empire was transferred 
to the Germans, and the confirmation of the imperial elec- 
tion devolved upon the Pontiff; " that, in fine, the empire 
was a fief of the Holy See. (Ij. Tliat this opinion was as- 
old as the Holy Roman empire itself, we have already seen 
Avhen treating ot that empire s foundation. Alexandre is 
unwilling to concede this, but though he did concede it, he 
would deny the application of the principle to the case of 
any other sovereign than the emperor ; most especially, to- 
the case of his Most Christian Majesty of France. We 
shall treat of this point when we come to our special 
chapter on the deposing power of the Pope. 

Henke says of Gregory VII. that he was " a shameless 
and wicked man, full of tricks, and a rash innovator, al- 
though he had the prudence of a statesman and the courage, 

energy, and firmness of a hero He was low and vile, 

although externally he presented a noble independence. He 
was a pretended saint, adored by his partisans and a man 
without religion, faith, or belief ; one of bis intimate friends 
called him St. Satan " (2). Schroek admires his perspi- 
cacity and his knowledge of the human heart, but reproaches- 
him with dissimulation, an indomitable pride, unmeasured 
ambition, and obstinacy. (3). Bower says that our Pontiff 
tried to establish an absolute and universal despotism, and 
implies that he was a heretic, hypocrite, and impostor. (4). 
Sismondi says that he was dominated by an insupportable^ 
arrogance and an unlimited ambition, and that he sacrificed 
everything to these two passions. (5). After such judgments 
it is refreshing to hear the Protestat Voigt saying :. 
" Gregory was profoundly convinced that religion alone can 
procure to the world safety, happiness, and universal peace ; 
he was persuaded that the sole organ of religion is the 
Church, wliich, in his eyes, is tlie interpreter of the will of 
the Most High. But to attain this object the Church should 
have some means of subsistence ; th».- mor she separated 

(1) Cent. II., (h>s. 2, <irt. 9. (3) lliftoni of the Church, p. 2. 

(3) History if the Chrixtiah Church, p. 2. (4) HMnry of the Roman Popes, B. vL 

{5) Italian Republics, ml. I. 


herself from the state, or severed the ties hitherto biDcling 
them, the more urgent it became to provide for her existence 
in some other manner. Restored to her liberty, the Church 
could rely only upon herself, upon her own rights, and not 

upon the favors of the state Gregory was a Pope, and 

acted as one; in this aspect, he was grand and admirable. 
To form a right judgment upon his actions one should con- 
sider his object and his intentions, and should see what was 
necessar}' for his time. A generous indignation may seize a 
German, when he beholds the humiliation of his emperor 
at Canossa. or a Frenchman, when he hears the severe les- 
sons given to his king. But the historian, who regards the 
life of peoples from a general point of view, rises above the 
narrow horizon of German or Frenchman, and finds these 

things just, although others condemn them Gregory's 

has been the lot of all the great men of history ; there have 
been ascribed to him motives of which it would be difficult, 

if not impossible, to prove the existence Nevertheless, 

even the enemies of Gregory are obliged to admit that his 
dominating idea, the independence of the Church, was 
indispensable for the propagation of religion, for the reform 
of society, and that, to obtain this effect, it was necessary to 
sever all the ties which had bound the Church to the state, 
to the detriment of religion ; the Church had to be an 
entirety, one in herself and by herself a divine institution, 
whose salutary influence over all men was not to be checked 

by any prince of the earth The genius of Gregory 

embraced, and had to embrace, the whole Christian world, 
because the independence of the Church was a general idea ; 
liis action was necessarily energetic, for he acted in his 
cfintury : his faith and his conviction were what they were, 
because the course of events had given them birth. It is 
difficult to give him exaggerated praise, because he every- 
where laid the foundations of a solid glory." (1) 

(1) Orciii.ry VII., B. xii. We take pleasure in siibjoininfr the following refiectious of 
the Abbe Jager. taken from his Tntrodnction to the work of Voigt. " The areat men who 
appear in <Titical times, as instruments of Providence, do not alwavs labor for their own 

epoch, hut for the future So it was with Greg-orv- In spite of all ohstactes, in spite 

cf every efTort of the impeiial power, he died a congueror; but he did not, enjoy his victory. 
The Aoti-PopeGuibert did not ascend the Pontifical throne; Henry die' not dle'an emperor - 
investitures were abolished ; the Church obtained worthy ministers ; :i new era was inau- 
gurated— the twe'fth century, so remarkable in history. This was entirelv the work of 
G egory, for when we compare the tenth century with the tv eifih, we mc the trac^i of a 


There are several subjects of importance, connected with 
the Pontificate of St. Gregory VII., to each of which a 
special chapter must be devoted. These are the freedom 
of Papal elections, to restore which our Pontiff spared no 
labor ; the question of investitures, the settlement of which 
may be regarded as the one object of his life ; clerical celi- 
bacy, the enforcement of v/liich excited in Gregory more zeal 
tlian had been shown by any of his predecessors , and the 
right exercised by the Roman Pontiffs, during the Middle 
Ages, to depose sovereigns. But before we treat of these 
questions, we would submit to the reader some passages 
from the Epistles of Gregorj', which illustrate the spirit 
which animated his whole career. " The Church ought to 
be independent of every secular power. The altar is re- 
served to him who, through an uninterrupted series of 
Pontiffs, succeeds to St. Peter. The sword of princes is 
subject to the Pontiff', and is obtained from him, for it is a 
human thing ; the altar, the Chair of Peter, came from God, 
and depend from Him alone (iii., 18 ; viii., 21). The Church 
is now buried in sin, because she is not free, because she is 
attached to the world and to worldly things (i.. 42, 55) ; 
her ministers are not legitimate when instituted by men of 
the world ; among the anointed ones of God abound 
cupidities and criminal passions, and hence we behold dis- 
sensions, haughtiness, and envy, where ought to reign the 
peace of God (ii., 11 ; i., 42 ; ii., 45 ; vii., 2 ; viii., 17). The 
Church ought to be free, and to become so, by means of her 
head, the first person of Christendom, the sun of faith. 
The Pope holds the place of God, and governs His kingdom 
on earth ; without him, there is no kingdom ; without him, 
government disappears, like a leaking ship. Things of the 
world pertain to the emperor ; those of God to tiie Po]3e. 
Therefore the latter must relieve the ministers of the altar 
from the chains imposed on them by the lay power. The 
state is one thing, the Church another. As faith is one, so 

great man. This great man was (iregory, the Hercules of the Middle Ages. He chained 
up their ninnstcrs ; he destroyed the feudal hydra : he saved Europe from harbarisni ; and. 
whal is still inorc praisinvni-thy, hi' ilhuniuati'd Christendoni hy his virtues. The grateful 
f'hiuch has cauouiziMl hini, and ucvt'i- was that homage more lut-riled: for (iregcMy is 
coveted with iiiiiuortal glory, a glory withoiu stain, which, in spite of pre.iudice, has always 
found some to appreciate ;, cud whieh. it is said, caused the most illustrious soldier of 
Uiodern time.; to exclaim. ' If 1 were not Napoleon, I would wish to be Greiiory VII.' " 


the Church is one ; the Pope is one, the faithful members 
one. If the Church exists bj herself, she ought not to 
operate by herself. Just as a spiritiial thing is visible only 
by an earthly form, and as the soul operates by the body, 
so religion does not exist without the Church, and the 
Church does not exist without the possessions which 
assure her existence (i., 7). As the spirit is nourished by 
earthly things in the body, so the Church is maintained by 
temporal possessions. It is the duty of the emperor, who 
holds the supreme power, to see that the Church procures 
and preserves these possessions ; therefore, emperors and 
rulers are necessary for the Church (i., 75 ; v., 10 ; vi., 20) ; 
but she exists only through the Pope, and the Pope exists 
only through God (i., 39). If the Church and the empire 
are to prosper, the priesthood and the lay power must be 
strongly connected, and must unite their forces for the peace 
of the world (i., 19). The world is lighted by two lumin- 
aries ; a greater one, the sun, and a lesser one, the moon. 
The Apostolic authority can be compared to the sun ; the 
Toyal power to the moon. Just as the moon illuminates 
only because of the sun, so emperors, kings, and princes 
subsist only by the grace of the Pontiff, who comes from 
God. The power of the Koman See is immeasurably greater 
than that of princes ; a king owes obedience to the Pope (ii., 
13, 31 ; viii., 21 ; i., 75 ; viii., 20, 23). As the Pope comes 
from God, every thing is subject to him ; spiritual and tem- 
poral affairs should be brought to his tribunal ; he it is who 
should teach, exhort, punish, correct, judge, decide. The 
Church is the tribunal of God (i., 62, 35, 15 ; ii., 51 ; vii., 
21 ; ix., 9 ; i., 60 ; vii., 25) ; she is the finger of God. Great 
and tremendous is the dignity of the Pope, the representa- 
tive of Christ (i., 53), for of him it is written, ' Thou art 
Peter, etc' (vii.. 6 ; viii., 20). The Church is composed of 
all those who profess the name of Christ and are called 
Christians ; hence all particular churches are members of 
the Church of Peter, that is, of the Koman Church. This 
Koman Church is the mother of all the churches of Chris- 
tendom, all of whom are subject to her, as daughters to a 
mother (ii., 1 ; iv., 28). As a mother, the Koman Church 


commands all churches, aud/ill their members, archbishops, 
bishops, priests, emperors, kings, princes, and the rest of 
the faithful. By virtue of her authority, the EomMn Church 
institutes and can depose all these ; she confers their 
power, and not for their glorj, but for the good of the many. 
Whenever they enter into the wa3's of sin, their holy mother 
is obliged to check them ; otherwise, she would share their 
guilt (i., 60; viii., 21 ; ii., 18, 32 ; vii., 4 ; v., 5 ; ii., 5 ; iii., 
4 ; iv., 1 ; Appendix, i., 3, 4). He who holds the place of 
Jesus Christ on this earth, may find much opposition ; but 
he must stand firm in his position, and suffer, as did his 
Master (iv., 24). From the head of the Church must pro- 
ceed all reforms ; he, therefore, must declare war on vice, 
and he must aid all who are persecuted for the sake of jus- 
tice and truth. He who threatens, or does violence to the 
Church, or who causes grief in her heart, is a son of the 
demon, and she must banish him from human society {Ap- 
pend., ii., 15; iv., 37 ; vi., 1)." 

Convinced of the truth of these conceptions. Pope St. 
Gregory VII. devoted his life to their actuation : and Avhile 
his frankness and vigor ma}^ astound men of to-day, they 
were adapted to the needs of his time, just as his senti- 
ments were conformable to the persuasions of that time 
Therefore, says Cantu, " he claimed the right of high do- 
main over Sicily, Spain, Sardinia, Hungary, and Dalmatia, 
the princes of which countries, recognizing the wisdom, 
justice, learning, and protecting authority of Eome. had 
niiide their crowns feudatary to her, thus assuring to them- 
selves and their heirs a protection against foreign attack 
and domestic rebellion .... Our age, which styles itself 
liberal, bases its constitutions on the inviolability, or ratlier 
the infallibility, of kings, and it rages at the thought of 
their responsibility for their acts. Our ignorant ancestors 
saw infallibility only in that Church with whom Christ 
])romised to ever abide ; they thought that the Church 
itossessed the right of watching the conduct of rulers, of 
correcting their sins, and of punishing their contumacy. 
The wisdom of to-day, in order to balance power, intro- 
duces a royal veto, and a refusal, on th(^ ]\iit (^f parlhimeut,. 


to vote the budget ; and tlie Chambers not only call the 
ministers to account for their administration, but sometimes 
pretend to change dynasties and to send kings to the 
scaffold or into exile. Terms have changed ; the substance 
of things remains. In the days of Gregory, no one had 
heard the maxim that ordinary morality and equity should 
not regulate government affairs. Then — and let it be noted 
by those who believe that liberty was born only yesterday 
— no man was born a king. He was elected a king, and 
merit was a condition of his election. Kings were not des- 
pots, but were limited by the Assemblies of the nation, and 
the supreme authority of the Pope was acknowledged, not 
only by the Canon, but by the civil law." (1) 


The Election of the Eoman Pontiff, and Hildebrand's 
Defence of its Freedom. 

When Pope 8t. Gregory VII. ascended the Pontifical 
throne, many abuses claimed his immediate attention, but 
there was one the thought of which stirred his inmost soul, 
for often its exercise nearly annihilated the Apostolic liberty 
of Christ's vicar, and nearly neutralized his influence over 
the hearts of men. For a long time princes had more or 
less controlled the Papal elections, and the emperors " of 
the Romans " now claimed a right to exercise such control. 
Of the few " bad Popes " who have reigned, nearly all owed 
their elevation to the schemes of princes. When Hilde- 
brand was elected, the Christian world yet blushed at the 
memory of John X., thrust upon the Papal throne by 
Theodora, his mistress (2) ; of Sergius III., who also owed 

(1) iniistriom Dal id lis, vol. i., art. Greooni VII. (Milan. 187-3). 

(2) In early life, Johu frequently came to Rome on business for the archbishop of 
Ravenna, his ordinary. Keinj^ possessed of great beauty, he touched the imagination of 
Theodora, a noble Roman dame, and she succeeded in seducing him. She soon procured 
for him the see of Ravenna, and finally, that she might keep him in Rome, intrigued with 
Laudolph, prince of Beiievento and Capua, to raise him to the Papacy, in '.M.5. After his 
elevation, John emancipated himself from Theodora's influence and rendered great service 
to the Church and to Italy. In 0:!8, Marozia, a daughter of Theodora and duchess of 
Tuscany, who had inherited her mother's power in Rome, fearing to lose her infliieiic(» if 
Hugh of Provence, wiiom John favored, were made emperor, seized the Pope, threw him 
Into adungeon, and there had him assassinated. See Lh'TPRAni), B. iii., c. ^i. Fr.orOARD, 
Liiiii:ii:-ti . year 'J-.".i. 


his elevation to the schemes of a mistress, Marozia ; of 
John XL, son of this Marozia, perhaps by Sergius III. (1). 
Four successive Pontiffs owed their election to Alberic, the 
son of Marozia and half-brother to John XI., whom he 
imprisoned ; and the influence of this family procured the 
tiara for Octavian, (John XII.), son of Alberic, when he was 
only eighteen years old. To obviate these evils, St. Gregory 
YII. used all his energy to restore to the Holy See its 
freedom of election. We now proceed to give a brief de- 
scription of the various phases through which the system of 
elections passed, from the days of St. Peter to those of 

Down to the time of Constantine, the only relations 
between the Pontiffs and the emperors Avere those of per- 
secuted and persecutors ; but for this very reason, while 
there was no external liberty for the Church, her internal 
liberty was inviolate. Receiving no favors from the state, 
the Holy See w^as forced to grant none, and the clergy and 
people of Rome were free to choose their pastor. Nor is 
it strange that, at that time, unworthy arts were seldom 
employed to secure the prize of the Papacy. Torture and 
death were the almost certain earthly rewards of the office. 
Nor was liberty of election infringed by the early succes- 
sors of Constantine. In the schism of Ursicinus against 
Pope St. Damasus (367), and of Eulalius against St. 
Boniface I. (418), the emperors followed and defended the 
decision of the better and greater part of the clergy. 
Odoacer, king of the Heruli (476), was the first ruler who 
forgot his dut}' in this matter. His edict was recited in 
the fourth Synod of Pope Sj'mmachus by the deacon 
Hormisdas, and from it we learn that Pope Simplicius (467 
— 483) had requested that the prince would repress any 
tumults that might occur at the election of his successor, 
and that Odoacer thereupon decreed that no Papal election 
should be hehl without his advice and sanction. This 
decree was never put into execution, and the fourth Synod 
of Symraaclms protested that " for a layman to interfere iu 
an ecclesiastical election was plainly against the Canons." 

(1) So says Llutprand. but otiier iiutliors ascribe JoUu's pateruity to Marozla's second 
husband, Guy o' Tiisranv. 


When, in 526, Theodoric the Ostrogoth had thrown Pope 
John 1. into prison, there to perish, he compelled the 
Eomans to receive Felix IV. As Felix was a reputable and 
fit man, the clergy deemed it best to acquiesce, and after a 
short time they consented to his elevation. Atalaric (526) 
decreed that the Pontifical election should be made, indeed, 
by the Roman clergy, but that a notification, accompanied 
by a donation of 3000 ducats, should be sent to the king 
of Italy. Here we may observe that neither the Western 
emperors nor the Gothic kings of Italy ever claimed an 
oriijinary and inborn power of controlling a Papal election ; 
they merely pretended to obviate discord. This originary 
and inborn right of princes is generally conceded by the 
olden Protestant jurists (1) and by Catholics of the stamp 
of Hontheim (Febronius) and Giannone. Their principle, 
" his is the religion, whose is the region," necessai'ily in- 
volves such a claim. But, says Muratori, " the kings of 
Italy never claimed (in a Papal election) the right of em- 
inent dominion .... the Western emperors never exercised 
that power." We may also note that, during the domina- 
tion of the Western emperors and of the Gothic kings, 
there is no vestige of any recognition, on the part of the 
Church, of any princely right to interfere in a Papal elec- 
tion ; when the clergy yielded, as in the case of Silverius, 
imposed upon them by Theodatus (536), it was under pro- 
test, and to avoid greater evils. When the valor of Beli- 
sarius had subverted the Gothic rule in Italy (536), and 
restored the peninsula and adjacent islands to the empire of 
Constantinople, the emperors insisted that the certificate 
of a Papal election should be sent to them ; but they did 
this without any pretense of interference, and only for the 
sake of the donation which was to accompany the docu- 
ment. Cardinal Deusdedit speaks of this custom as fol- 
lows : *' While we read that the decree of election was 
frequently sent to the emperors, we never read that they 

contradicted the choice of the Eomans After a time 

this custom came to an end, or at the most, it was only 
kept up by the exarchs of Eavenna. For we read that at 

(i; See Puffendorf and Grotiuc, yasswi;. 


this period tlie mferj^ontificia (1) were very short. The 
inter po7if If cia are counted from the burial of the deceased 
Pope until the day of consecration of the new one. Three 
acts were performed in regard to a new Pontiff: the election, 
which was restricted to no definite locality ; the enthroni- 
zation, in the Lateran ; the consecration, in the Vatican 
basilica. Sometimes the enthronization or legitimate 'pos- 
session ' (2) preceded the consecration ; hence the duration 
of the inferpontijicium is calculated up to the day of conse- 
cration. When, then, we see that there was a very brief 
interpontificium, we may conclude that the consecration was 
performed without the assent of the emperor, since there 
was not sufficient time to obtain it." (3). The emperor 
Constantine Pogon^tus (668) remitted the odious tax on a 
confirmatory decree, altliough he at first insisted upon the 
imperial assent being obtained for the consecration; but 
filially, as we learn from Anastasius (4j, he issued a decree, 
permitting that "the one elected to the Apostolic See 
should be consecrated without delay." Here again, then, 
just as in the case of the Western emperors and the Gothic 
kings of Italy, we find that the Eastern emperors claimed 
no right of eminent dominion in confirming a Papal election. 
The emperor Charlemagne carefully abstained from any 
interference in Pontifical elections. Florus the Deacon, 
writing in the middle of the ninth century, says : "We 
observe that in the Koman Church, down to the present 
day, the Pontift' is consecrated after the manifestation of the 
divine judgment, and without any interposition of princely 
consent " (5). Equally just was Louis tlie Compliant, as 
is proved by Leo of Ostia. Anselm, and Ivo, who give his 
decree, ordering that Papal elections shall proceed, " ac- 
cording to the Canons, without contradiction ; and when tlie 
Pontiff sliall have been consecrated, he shall send unto us 
legates, who will confirm peace, charity, and friendship be- 
tween him and ourselves, as was the custom in tlie times of 
our great-grandfather, Charles (Martel), of our grandfather, 
Pepin, and of our father, the emperor Charles, all of bh^ssed 

(1) This tpriii c()riesi)c>iicis to tlie "IntwrreKuuni " of civil vroverniiiciits. 

(2) In Itilian, i\ lutuKisyi,. (4) Lin-snt SI. lit iinlit-l tl. nml .John V. 
<3) Ava >ii l^CiisimiticK, B. 1. '•"') ElcclUin of Jiisluuis. 


memory." But the emperor Lothaire (840-855), as we read 
in the Bert'mian Annals, did interfere in Papal elections. He 
sent Hulderic to Rome, in 844, with orders tliat "hereafter, 
on the death of the Apostolic, no one shall be consecrated 
Pontiff without our consent, or in the absence of our em- 
bassadors." Some critics deny the authenticity of this 
decree, but we know that at this time the interponfificia 
were unusually long ; thus sixty-five days elapsed between 
the death of V.ilentine and the election of Gregory IV. 
Again, the interference of Lothaire is plainly shown by the 
Bertinian Annals, wdien they tell us that, on the death of 
Valentine, " the priest Gregory was elected, but not con- 
secrated, until the imperial legate had come to Rome and 
inquired into the election." This move of Lothaire, how- 
ever, was of little consequence. Sergius 11. succeeded 
Gregory IV. fifteen days after the latter's death, and An- 
astasius says of St. Leo IV. (847) that '' they consecrated 
him Pontiff without the permission of the prince." Again, 
down to 884, the interpontificia were very short ; from Leo 
IV. to Benedict III., forty-four days ; from the latter to 
Nicholas I., fourteen days ; from John VIII. to Martin II., 
seven days ; from Martin II. to Adrian II., six days. Here 
we must make mention of a decree of Pope Stephen IV. (1), 
which we find in Anastasius and in Anselm of Lucca : 
" Under pain of anathema we decree that no layman, 
whether of the civil or military order, presume to be found 
at an election of a Pontiff; let the election be made by 
certain priests and ofiicers of the Church, and by the entire 

We now approach the period when the liberty of the 
Church was to be attacked by those whose first duty, in- 
culcated especially by their coronation oath, was its defense. 
It was reserved for the emperors of the German line to at- 
tempt to destroy that which the Byzantine sovereigns, the 
Gothic kings of Italy, and the French emperors, had scru- 
pulously respected. In Dist. 63, chap. Synod, Gratian gives 
a decree of the anti-Pope Leo VIII., in which that in- 
truder pretended, in return for his elevation, to concede to 

(1) Some chronologists call him Stephen HI., since they wish not to count Stephen H. (752), 
■who died before his consecration, on the third day after his election. 


Otbo I. and his successors the right of choosing the Eoman 
Pontiff. In our chapter on the Pretended Deposition of John 
XII. we have given the reasons for which Baronio regards 
this decree as supposititious (1), but here we will remark 
that, even though it be authentic, it can have no value, being 
the work, not of a legitimate, but of an anti-Pope. How- 
ever, all the early German sovereigns interfered, more or 
less, in the Papal elections, and, on the Christmas of 1049, 
the deacon Hildebrand, the future Gregory VIL, first dis- 
played his invincible opposition to their usurpation. It 
was then that he persuaded Bruno, bishop of Toul, who 
had just been named Pontiff by a Synod at Worms, and 
who stopped at Cluny on his way to Rome, to doff the Pon- 
tifical robes, and to proceed to the Eternal City, dressed as 
a pilgrim, and to await his election by the Roman clergy. 
Hildebrand's second opportunity of combatting the im- 
perial pretensions arrived in 1054. As we have seen, he 
had been for five years a cardinal-deacon, and w^as regarded 
as the right-arm of the Holy See. He was sent to Germany,. 
on the death of Leo IX., to select, in the name of the Roman 
clergy and people, a new Pontiff. His choice fell on Geb- 
hard, bishop of Eichstadt, a man of much prudence, and 
much loved by Henry III. (2j ; but when Hildebrand met 
Henry at Mayence, and mentioned his preference, the 
emperor again and again suggested another person for the 
Papacy. But Hildebrand persisted, and finally Gebhard 
departed for Rome, where he was formally elected by the 
clergy and people, and took the name of Victor II. And 
here we may ob-erve that, while Hildebrand was determined 
that only the clergy and people of Rome should elect their 
Pontiff, he was too much of a statesman to unnecessarilv 
excite the ill-will of the emperors. In his time, men had 
not excogitated the principle, nowadays so often badly ap- 
plied, of a " free Church in a free state ; " his idea was rather 
to preserve a harmony between Church and state, each 
being independent in its own sphere, but each helping the 
other. Thus, in the election of Leo IX. at Worms, he did 
not resist the emperor, but merely insisted that the Romans 

(i) nianchi and Catalan! also reject it. 

(2) LK0 0FO8T1A, ('assincse Chronicle, b. ii., c. 80. 


themselves should first signify their will ; in the election o£ 
Victor II., he preferred a person beloved by the emperor. 
During the reign of Nicholas II., Hildebrand procured, in 
a Roman Synod, held in 1059, the publication of a decree 
which would define the limits of the two powers in the 
matter of an election. It reads as follows : " The cardinal- 
bishops will carefully consult together, and will immedi- 
ately convene with the cardinal-priests and deacons ; then 
the remaining clergy and the people will approach to give 

their consent to the election they will select one 

from the bosom of the Roman Church, if one can be found 
fit ; but if such is not found, let him be taken from another 
church, saving the honor and reverence due to our dear 
son Henry, at present king, and, as is hoped, God granting, 
future emperor, as we have conceded this to him and his 
successors, who will personally ask the Apostolic See for this 
rights' (1) This decree was signed by eighty persons, arch- 
bishops, bishops, priests, and deacons. " It is certain," 
says the Protestant Voigt, " that this Canon was a master- 
piece of Pontifical wisdom, or rather of that of Hildebrand. 
It took from the emperor the right of approving of the 
election of Popes, a right until then uncontested. The 
Canon does not expressly state this, but it says sufficient 
when it exacts that the emperor shall ask the Pope himself 
for the right." The death of Nicholas II., in 1061, was to 
test the value of the above decree. On the invitation of 
Hildebrand, then archdeacon of the Roman Church, the 
cardinals assembled and chose Anselm, bishop of Lucca, a 
man of great learning and austere morals, who took the 
name of Alexander II. When the news of this election 
reached Germany, a number of imperialist prelates as- 
sembled at Basel ; most of them came from Lombardy, led 
by Gilbert of Parma, the ro3^al chancellor, whom Nicholas 
of Aragon calls " a most wicked man." These bishops 

(1) Muratori edited this decree from tlie Farfensian Ctironiole, and it agrrees with the 
testimony nf St. Peter Dainian, B. 1., 20 But the cardinals Deusdedit and Barouio refuse 
to plve it implicit credit, assertinp that it was mutilated and corrupted by schismatics. 
Certiiinly no .Ted nee is to be accorded it, merely because Gratian <rives it 'dist. 2'^. r. in 
nomine), for he lived a century after, and records nianv apochryphal Cations and Pontiflcai 
c'ccti'ns. But it >ee!ns to lie genuine, if we rend '^t. D.imian's h'tthrin, bptwp'ii '■;i-iis"'.f 
and the royal advocate. The saiut never denies the existence of the privilege which the 
'K>ntr cl'umed as his by A jwstolic concession, but he constantly Insists that Henry IV. ha(l 
re'i leied iiimseif unworthy to exercise it. 


Tesolved to recognize oul}- a Pontiff taken from " the 
Paradise of Italy," as tliey styled Londiardy, and they 
invei<^died most bitterlv against the decree of Nicholas II. 
Shortly afterwards the bishops of Piacenza and Yercelli 
formed themselves into a Synod, and elected as Pontiff 
Cadalao, bishop of Parma, who assumed the name f)f 
Honorius II. Our limits will not permit of our entering 
into the details of this schism. While it was at its height. 
a Council of Italian and German bishops was held at Osbor 
(1) in 1062, as a means of reunion. Here was read a 
remarkable letter of St. Peter Damian, and as it throws 
much light upon the events of the day, and explains the 
plans of Hildebrand, we give a few extracts from it. It 
purports to be a dialogue between a defender of the Roman 
Church and a royal advocate. " Df]fender. This is a ques- 
tion which, if well settled, will settle the rest (2) ; T)ut 
which, left uncertain, will caiise all else to be dubious, since 
it is the basis of all other disputes. The king, or the 
emperor, or perhaps an irreproachable representative of 
each, used to arrange, according to their will and power, 
the sees of the patriarchs, the limits of the metropolitans, 
the jurisdiction of the bishops, the dignities of the churches, 
and of each order. They regulated, in a uniform manner, 
the extent of ecclesiastical prerogatives. But the Eoman 
Church is founded and built upon the rock of faith, by no 
will or intention of man, but by that Word which made 
heaven and earth. On this power she relies. It is certain 
that he is unjust who deprives a church of any one of her 
rights, and that he is a heretic who takes from the Roman 
Church that supremacy which she received from the Head 
of all the churches. Advocate. I contend that, in naming 
a Pope Avithout the consent of the king, the Roman Church 
has violated the rights, and dishonored the majesty, of the 
sovereign. Dof. Before speaking of violated rights, let us 
see whether the Pope can be named witliout the king's 
consent. Adv. Clearly, the Pope ought to be elected by 
those who, according to the lioly Canons, are to obe}' him ; 

(U So the locality Is desiKiiatert by Damian ; where it was, is now unknown. 
'21 That Is. whiMher th ' Po|h> should he chosen by the (Church, or hy the iiionarrh. 
l)y both in couciTt. In the above DiaUi^inc, we >flve the synopsis of VoifcM. 



HOW, the Romau people, and the emperor, who is their 
head, are bound to obe}' him as their Sovereign Pontiff. 
The question then is, whether the people, without their 
head, can perform an election ; whether the people should 
obey a Pope whom the emperor has not chosen. It is 
shown, then, that a Pontifical election is not complete unless 
it is confirmed by the king of the Romans." The Papal de- 
fender then shows, by many examples, that temporal princes 
have not exercised great influence in ecclesiastical elections, 
.and he concludes that, since the head of Christianity was 
established by the King of Heaven, the king of the earth 
should not interfere with him. The emperor has no power 
in the Church ; why then ought not the Pope be elected 
without his approbation? Tl\m advocate admits this pro- 
position, but he advances another: " It cannot be denied 
that Henry III., father of our present monarch, was made 
' Patrician of the Romans,' and received from them the first 
place in the election of a Pope. And what is more. Pope 
Nicholas confirmed, by a Synodal decree, this privilege 
which the king already had from his father." The defender 
does not contest the reality of the privilege, but falls back 
on the minority of the king. The Church, he says, is the 
young king's mother ; he is merely a child, needing a tutor. 
How can he choose a Pope? Ad.v. "Defend what you 
please, but you cannot change what a Pope has estab- 
lished and confirmed. Def. Cannot a weak man change 
his arrangements, when even the Almighty does so? The 
.defender then proves this assertion by Scripture, and 
concludes the Dialogue as follows: " We, counsellors of 
the crown, and servants of the Holy See, make common 
efi'orts for the union of the Priesthood and the Empire, in 
• order that the human race, governed by these two powers, 
may never be divided, tliat they may sustain each other 
like the two poles of the earth, and that the peoples may 
not become indocile because of their diff"erences ; so that, as 
the Mediator between God and man has mysteriously unit- 
ed royalty and the priesthood, their two heads may be 
united by a mutual afi'ection, and the king be found in the 
Roman Pontifi", and the Pontiff in the king ; saving the 


rislit of the Pontiff, which he alone can exercise. Let the 
Pope repress criminals by the law of the prince ; and let 
the prince order, through the bishops, according to the holy 
Canons, what concerns the salvation of souls. Let the 
Pope, as the father, have the pre-eminence ; let the king, as 
an only son, repose in the arms of the Pontiff's affection." 
In this Svnod of Osbor the infamous Cadalao was 
solemnly and effectively deposed. When Hildebrand be- 
came Pontiff, he continued, with greater zeal, his struggle 
for the independence of the Church, and his last act was a 
protest against princely interference in Papal elections. 
His victory was a lasting one, for, as Pagi says : " We have 
carefully examined, and we have found that Gregory VII. 
was the last Pontiff whose election was signified to the 
emperor before his consecration." 


The Question of Investitukes. 

According to ancient custom, the election of bishops had 
depended on the votes of the clergy, the testimony of the 
people, and the consent of the provincial prelates. Bub in 
course of time sovereigns arrogated to themselves, and 
with some show of reason, a right of interference in these 
elections. The piety of the great and wealthy had endowed 
the churches and monasteries with lands ; the interest of 
sovereigns had caused them to give the rank of tem- 
poral lords to men upon whose fidelity they could depend. 
Nearly every bishop and abbot was a feudal dignitar}-, and 
subject therefore, as such, to the same obligations, either 
personally or by substitute, as the secular noble. Every 
possessor of a fief held it by virtue of an investiture from 
his lord or suzerain, and this investiture was conferred 
with certain ceremonies, more or less solemn and symbol- 
ical, according to the nature of the fief. Hence it came to 
pass that, when an ecclesiastic had been chosen as l)isli(>p 
for a vacant see, or a monk had been elected bv his brethren: 


iio an abbacy, the elect applied to the sovereign for his in- 
duction into the fiefs or regalia pertaining to his particular 
diocese or monastery. Before he received his investiture, 
the elect gave hominium, or homage, for his fief, and swore 
fidelity to his suzerain. So long as the sovereigns were 
content with an exercise of the right of investiture within 
these limits, the Church did not complain. There were, 
-doubtless, many inconveniences in the system, but it was 
considered that they were more than counterbalanced by 
the accession of dignity and influence which accrued from 
the elevation of the bishops and abbots to a position among 
the temporal rulers of the earth. But in time Caesar be- 
came dissatisfied with the possession of only those thiugs 
which belonged to him ; he laid his hand upon the things 
■of God. Under the pretext that he had a right to see that 
the regalia of his spiritual fiefs did not fall into the hands 
of his enemies, he did not always confer them upon the 
canonically elected person. Then he commenced to ignore 
the election altogether, and to nominate whom he would to 
the vacancy. Hence an openiug to favoritism, to simony, 
.and to ever}' species of irregularity. In some countries, 
immediately upon the death of a prelate, his crosier and 
riug, the emblems of his spiritual jurisdiction, were taken 
to the sovereign, to be retained by him until he saw fit to 
confer them upon an acceptable candidate ; too frequentl}' 
this candidate had no merit beyond the love of the sover- 
-eign or a plethoric purse. In all countries where the 
feudal system had obtained, the granting of the regalia was 
effected by the suzerain's presenting the staff and ring to 
the beneficiary. Until that ceremony had been performed, 
whether he was canonically elected or not, whether he was 
consecrated or not, no bishop or abbot could enter upon the 
duties of his office. In taking a determined stand, there- 
fore, against this method of investiture, the Roman Pon- 
tiffs derogated from no legitimate right of a sovereign ; they 
simply insisted upon the inherent and divinely accorded 
right of the Church to elect her own pastors. They did 
not wish a prelate to obtain the fiefs annexed to his charge 
hj any evasion of the temporal duties thereto attached ; 


tliGj merely contended that those fiefs should not be ac^ 
corded by tlie suzerain in a manner which would imply that 
the said suzerain was the source of the prelate's spiritual 
jurisdiction. For nearly half a century Eome fought this 
battle with the great ones of the earth, but principally with 
the German sovereigns. Finally, as we shall see, she was 

In France the exercise of the right of investiture was as 
ancient as the monarchy itself. It is recognized in the 
tenth Canon of the fifth Council of Orleans, held in 549, 
during the reign of the great Clovis ; and is claimed in an 
edict of Clothaire II., in 615. The ancient writer of the 
Life of St. Romanus of Rouen speaks of the Saint as receiv- 
ing the crosier from Clovis II., and being "therefore"' 
enthroned as bishop, in 623. Gregory of Tours and Fortu- 
natus assiiifn to the order or consent of Clovis 11. the elec- 
tion of Quintian and of Gallus of Auvergne ; to that of 
Childebert the episcopacy of Germain of Paris ; to that of 
Clothaire II. the choice of Euphronius of Tours, and of 
other bishops. In the Appendix to the second volume of 
the CounnfU cf France, edited by Sirmond. there are several 
ancient formulas used by the Merovingian kings in the 
granting of investitures. In one of them, the king says ta 
the elected : " By the advice and wdll of our bishops and 
nobles, according to tlie will and consent of the clergy and 
people of the said city, we commit to you the episcopal- 
dignity, in the name of God. Therefore, by the present- 
precept we decree and command that the aforesaid city or 
things of its church, and its clergy, remain under your will 
and government." Under the Merovingians and Carlo- 
vingians, the French church experienced but little trouble 
from the system of royal investiture ; but under the Capp- 
tians, simony was quite frequent, especially during the reign 
of Philip I. St. Gregory VII., writing to the bishop of 
Chalons (1), says: " Among other princes of our time who 
have desolated the Church of God by simony, and have 
crushed their iiiothei- into the condition of a handmaid, 
Philip, king of France, has so oppressed the church of 

(I) i-'/jMks. B. 1, u. as. 


France, as we have learned from reliable sources, that he 
seems to have arrived at the very depth of this detestable 
iniquity. We have been the more grieved because of this 
state of things in that kingdom, on account of its well- 
known prudence, religion, power, and devotion to the 
Roman Church. The desolation of the churches, and our 
general pastoral solicitude, have urged us to reprove most 
severelv such audacious excesses ; but since he has, through 
his private chamberlain Alberic, just now earnestly prom- 
ised to change his life, and to arrange ecclesiastical affairs 
according t6 our judgment, we have delayed to exer- 
cise the rigor of the Canons. We wish, however, first to 
test the value of his promise in the affair of the church of 
Matiscon, long bereft of a pastor and reduced to extremity ; 
that is, we desire that the arclideacon of Autun, already 
elected by the unanimous voice of the clergy and people, 
and as we have heard, Avith the consent of the king him- 
self, be installed at the head of that church, having re- 
ceived gratis, as is proper, the episcopal position." Accord- 
ing to the system permitted by the Holy See, therefore, a 
widowed diocese was to be provided for in this manner. 
The election by the clergy should first take place ; then the 
approval of the king was to be requested ; then the investi- 
ture was to be granted, but always gratis ; finally, the conse- 
cration was to take place. It was only owing to the royal 
violation of these wise regulations that trouble arose in 
an}- country. 

The system of investiture was very old in England. 
William of Malraesbury (1), speaking of the privileges of 
the monaster}- of Glastonbury, says that "King Edgar 
decreed that the monks should always elect their abbot ; 
but he reserved, for himself and his heirs, the power of 
giving the pastoral staff to the brother elected." St. 
Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, received his investiture from 
king St. Edward, and when he was accused of " illiteracy 
and simplicity, and of being almost an idiot, and ignorant of 
the French language, and unable to assist at the royal 
council." (2) he refused to resign his crosier to William the 

a) Deeds of the English Kings, B. li., c. 8. (8) Matthew of Paris, year 1095, 


Conqueror, who had not given it to him, but, approaching 
the tomb of St. Edward, there laid down the emblem of his 
dignity (1). Ordericus Yitalis (2) gives a favorable picture 
of the conduct of the Conqueror in the matter of inves- 
titure, and says that he always deferred to the judgment of 
the wise " during the fifty-six years in which he held the 
reins of government either in Normandy or in England, 
thus leaving a good example to his posterity. He detested 
every kind of simony; and hence, in choosing abbots and 
bishops, he regarded the sanctity and wisdom of the ])erson, 
rather than his wealth or power." But Ingulf, abbot of 
Croyland, talks in a very different manner of William's 
proceedings, saying that " for many years, there has been 
no really free and canonical election of prelates ; all the 
episcopal and abbatial dignities have been given by the royal 
court, through ring and staff, just as it pleased." And 
Gervase, a monk of Canterbury, says of Lanfranc : " He 
■disked the king to give him the abbey (Canterbury), as all 
his predecessors had possessed it. The king replied that he 
would like to have all the pastoral stafls in England in his 
own hand. At this, Lanfranc wondered ; but, for the greater 
good of the Church, which he could not effect without the 
king, he held his peace for the time." The successors of 
the Conqueror exercised the right of investiture in a shame- 
less manner ; William Eufus (1087-1100) especially distin- 
guished himself as a public auctioneer in conferring every 
ecclesiastical office that fell vacant. Under Henry I. (1100- 
1135) things came to a crisis, thanks to the zeal and deter- 
mination cf St. Anselm of Canterbury. This prelate had 
attended a Eoman Synod, in which excommunication had 
been pronounced against all lay patrons of ring and crosier, 

(I) Matthew records that Wulstan replied to Lanfranc: " I well know that I am not 
worthy o( this honor, nor am I eciual to the lalxjr ; hut you shoulti not detnanil my pastoral 
staff, since you did not give it to me. ohevinsr your sentence, however. I shall resio-n the 
crosier; but ' will do what is more llttinp. if I yield it to St. Edward. t>v whose authority I 
received it." Then (roinp: to the touih, he thus apostrophized the saint : "Most holv kinp 
Edward, thou knowest how uiiwillinjrly I assumed this hurden : how often I jjiMMiind 
myself, when they soutrht me. Nor dn i deny that I was unwise, but thou didst eonimd 
nil'. For althomrh tlier were not wautiiiL'- an election, the piaitiou of th(> peoplp. ii;c will 
of the bishops, and the prace of tin- nobility, yt-t it was thy auilioiiiv and will that turned 
the scale. liut now there rame a new kinir, a new law, and new pidiiti's, and they i>sue 
uew decrees. They chartre thee with error, because thou madest me a liisho|); they accuse 
no of aiToiraiice. lecai;,-e I yielded. Not to those who denuind what tbev did not (riTe, 
but to thee, I resij^n the stair thou Ravest ; to thee I lesigu the care of those thou didst 
<»ntrust to me." 

i3; llUuiiii, 1$. iv., year lOTO 


and when he returned to England, in 1106, he firmly but 
respectfully informed the king that he would enforce the 
Syuodical decrees. Henry was at that time at war Avith 
his brother Eobert (1) and knowing how difl&cult it would 
be to carry out his projects without the aid of the prelates, 
he dissimulated, and suggested that a special appeal should 
^^e made to the Holy See. The result was -^hat after a long 
interchange of letters between Rome and England, and a 
continued series of artifices on the part of Henry, Anselm 
was persuaded to journey to Borne and personally consult 
the Pope. He was then ordered by Henry to remain in 
exile until he had decided to obey the royal behests. For 
three years the aged and infirm prelate was the guest of the 
archbishop of Lyons, and during this time Henry was con- 
tinually annoyed by the murmurs of his barons and people, 
and by the importunities of queen Matilda and of his sister 
Adela, countess of Biois, urging him to yield. Finally, 
having been warned by Pope Paschal that his excommuni- 
cation was imminent, he met the primate at the abbey of 
Bee, and abandoned the claim to investiture by staflf and 
ring ; reserving, however, the claim of fealty and homage, 
as civil duties, on the part of bishops and abbots. (2) 

St. Gregory VII. was not the first Pontifi" to raise his 
voice against the abuse of investitures, although he was the 
:first to ply the axe to the root of the evil, by decreeing the 
Titter abolition of the system. Pope St. Leo IX. (el. 1049), 
in the first year of his reign, had decreed, in the Council of 
Eheims, that " no one should be promoted to the govern- 
ment of a church, unless elected by the clergy and the 
people." Alexander II., in 1063, had issued a Canon, in a 
Eoman Synod of 110 bishops, declaring that, unless by 
<3anonical election, " no one should obtain a church through 
'avor of laics, either for money, or gratis." Nicholas II. 
I sL 1058), had written to Gervase of Eheims " correct your 
glorious king ; beseech him ; admonish him ; " because 

(1) This prince was the inventor of a profitable improvement in the matter of investiture. 
He sold the reversion of bishoprics in favor of children, and frequently sold more than one 
•see to the same buyer. So says Iro of Chartres, Eimtles lis, ir'.t, 181. 

(2) •• On the whole," says Linjrard, " the Church gained little bv the compromise. It 
might check, but did not abolish, the principal abuse. If Henry surrendered an unneces- 
sary ceremony, he still retained the substance. The right which he assumed of nominating 
bishops and abbots was left unimpaired, and though he promised not to appropriate to 
tolmself the revenues of the vacant beneflces, he never hesitated to violate his engagement." 


Henry III. had appointed a bishop without a Ciinouical 
election. Nor did St. Gregory VII. at first wish to abolish 
the investitures. In an epistle to the Germans (1), he sim- 
ply besought that no interference should be made with the 
freedom of elections : " Let him use counsellors who love 
God, and not merely their own gain ; men who will prefer 
God to all worldly profit. Let him no longer think that 
the Church is, like a handmaid, subject to him ; let him 
regard her as placed above him. as a mistress." Before he 
proceeded to the extremity of abolition, Gregory, says 
William of Tyre, (2) " seeing that the rights of the Church 
were down trodden, again and again admonished the same 
emperor to desist from such detestable presumption." 
Only when he found that no other course was left, did the 
Pontiff, says William of Malmesbury, (3) " openly effect 
what others had threatened to do, excommunicating all 
who received investiture of their churches from the hands 
of a layman by means of staff and ring." Hugh of Fla- 
vigny, in the Chronide of Verdun, gives us the decree which 
was issued in Gregory's Second Roman Synod, held in 1075 :. 
" If any one hereafter receives a bishopric or an abbacy 
from the hands of any lay person, let him not be received 
among bishops or abbots, or receive any hearing as a bish- 
op or abbot. We also deprive him of the grace of Blessed 
Peter, and debar him from entrance into a church, until he 
shall have relinquished the position which he has occupied 
in ambition and in disobedience, which is the wickedness- 
of idolatry. We decree the same in reference to the infe- 
rior ecclesiastical dignities. Also, if any emperor, duke, 
marquis, count, or any other secular power or person, pre- 
sumes to give the investiture of a bishopric or of any eccle- 
siastical dignity, let him know that he falls under the same 
sentence." This decree was confirmed in the Roman Synods 
of 1078 and 1080. 

Tlie immediate successors of St. Gregory VII. imitated 
his firmness in the matter of investitures. Victor III. re- 
newed the prohibitory decree in the Synod of Benevento, 
held in 1087 ; and Urban II. did the same in the Synod of 

a) B. Iv.. EpiaU 3. (2) Sacral H'dc, B. 1., c. 13. 

(3) Dced» of the English Kings, B. lii. 


Amalfi, In 1089, in a Synod at Claremont, in 1095, and in a 
Roman Synod, in 1099. While the German and English 
sovereigns persisted in the obnoxious system, king Philip 
1. of France readily obeyed, relinquishing the solemn de- 
livery of the staff and ring, but receiving, as was per- 
fectly reasonable, the oath of fidelity for the fiefs, into pos- 
session of which the newly elected was inducted. In fact, 
Ivo of Chartres (1) attests that the concord between the 
Holy See and the French monarchs was never disturbed 
by the question of investitures. 

In the year 1106, Paschal II. held a Synod at Guastalla, 
at which were present the embassadors of Henry V. of 
Germany. Another decree against investitures was issued 
in these words : " For a long time the Catholic Church has 
been oppressed by wicked men, both lay and clerical ; hence, 
in our days, many schisms and heresies have been born. 
However, by the grace of God, she now regains her proper 
liberty, the authors of this wickedness having departed. 
We must therefore take care that the causes of these 
schisms be entirely removed. Agreeing, therefore, with 
the Constitutions of our fathers, we absolutely prohibit the 
giving by laymen of ecclesiastical investitures ; and if any 
one braves this decree, let him, as guilty of injury toward 
his mother, be removed from his dignit3% if he is a cleric ; 
be debarred from entrance to a church, if he is a layman." 
Pope Paschal had intended, after holding the Synod of 
Guastalla, to proceed to Germany, hoping that his presence 
would contribute to a settlement of all troubles , but his 
counsellors persuaded him that it would be injudicious to 
trust himself to the courtesy of the yoang Henry. He ac- 
cordingly journeyed into France, in 1107, to seek the ;iid, 
or at least the influence, of king Philip, in his struggle 
with the German monarch, Suger, then a monk, and after- 
wards abbot of St. Denis, g'ves us an interesting account 
of this visit (2). After the Pontiff had paid his respects to 
the shrine of St. Denis, "king Philip and the lord Louis, 
his son, gratefully came here to meet him, prostrating, for 
the love of God, the royal majesty at his feet ; just as kings 

(1; Epistle to I'aischal IL, 338. (2) Life of Loula the Fat, c. 9. 

r M 


are accustomed, having offered tlieir diadems, to oow be- 
fore the tomb of the fisherman Peter. The lord Pope 
raised them with his hand, and caused them, as most devout 
children of the Apostles, to come before him. He then 
conferred with them upon the state of the Church in a wise 
manner, and familiarly ; blandly influencing them to give 
aid to Blessed Peter and his vicar, to take the Church by 
the hand, and to strenuously oppose all tyrants and foes of 
the Church, especially the emperor Henry. They gave the 
Pontiff their right hands, in token of friendship, advice, 
and assistance." The Pontiff having promised to receive 
the embassadors of Henry V. at Chalons-sur-Marne, they 
came to the audience, " not humble, but rigid and obstinate ; 
leaving behind (at St. Meuge's) the chancellor Albert, 
through whose tongue and heart the emperor acted ; the 
others coming to the court with an immense retinue, much 
pomp, and excessively bedecked. These were the arch- 
bishop of Treves, the bishops of Halberstadt and Munster^ 
a great number of counts, and the duke Guelph, with a 
sword carried before him -a corpulent man, wonderful and 
boisterous through his whole extent of length and breadth 

and all this noisy crowd seemed to have been sent to 

terrify, rather than to reason. The archbishop of Treves, 
an elegant and jovial man, well practised in the speech of 
France, then held forth, tendering greeting and service, 
saving the rights of his kingdom, to the lord Pope and the 
court, on the part of the lord emperor. Carrying out his 
instructions, he said : ' Such is the cause of our lord tlie em- 
peror, in behalf of whom we are sent. In the days of our 
predecessors, the holy and apostolic Gregory the Great and 
others, it was acknowledged as a right of the empire, that, 
before an election could be held, the ear of the emperor 
should be sought, and if the person in vieAV proved accept- 
able, the imperial consent should be given ; then, according 
to the Canons, the petition of the people, the election by 
the clergy, and the assent of the great (honoraforum J, should 
take place ; finally, the consecrated person should go to the 
emperor for the regalia, that is. to be invested with staff 
and ring, and to swear fidelity and do homage. And no 


■wonder, for cities, castles, marches, etc., can be obtained in 
no other way. If the lord Pope agrees to these things, 
there shall be prosperity and peace in Church and kingdom, 
to the honor of God.' To these things the lord Pope con- 
siderately replied, through the bishop of Piacenza : ' The 
Church being redeemed by the Precious Blood of Jesus 
Christ, and established in freedom, cannot again be reduced 
to the condition of a handmaid. If the Church cannot elect 
a pastor without consulting the sovereign, the death of 
Christ is rendered null, and she is servilely subjected to that 
sovereign ; if the ring and staff are used for investiture, 
the things of God are usurped by the prince, for the ring 
and staff are religious symbols ; if the hands consecrated 
to the Lord's Body and Blood are subjected, in obligation, 
to the hands of a layman reeking with human blood, there 
is an insult to Holy Orders and the Holy Unction.' " When 
the stiff-necked embassadors had heard this answer, their 
rage became frenzy, and if they could have done so with 
impunity, they would have insulted the Pontiff. Bat, con- 
tinues Suger, they replied : " ' not here, but at Kome, the 

quarrel shall be settled by the sword ' When they 

had departed, the lord Pope proceeded to Troyes, and cele- 
brated the long-propcsed Council ; then he safely returned 
to the See of Peter, with the love of the French, who had 
served him well, and with the fear and hatred of the Ger- 
mans." In the year 1108, Pope Paschal reiterated the 
condemnation of investitures in the Synod of Benevento, 
and in 1110 he did the same in a Koman Synod. 

The question of investitures now assumed another and a 
bloody aspect. (1) Henry V. moved from Germany at the 
head of an immense army, passed through Savoy, and pene- 
trated into Italy. The Lombard cities prepared to defend 
themselves, but, terrified by the fate of Novara, which 
Henry gave to the flames, they soon made overtures of 
peace. The great countess, Matilda, shut herself in her 
stronghold of Canossa, but promised Henry that she would 
not attack him in the rear, and as he had enough on his 

il) The events we are about to narrate are described by Petf.r the Deacon, in the 
Chronicle of CasHino, B. iv., c, 37; Suger, Joe. ciL; John of Tusculcm, EpM. to Richard 
of Albano ; Otho of Frisignen, B. vii. 


hands, the monarch feigned to be satisfied, reviewed his 
army iu the phiins of Eoncaglia, and marched on Rome. 
Pope Paschal looked vainly around for succor. Man}' of 
the Lombard cities had formally submitted to Henry, 
others thought only of their own affairs. Venice, Genoa, 
and Pisa were too busy making money out of tlie Cru- 
sades, furnishing provisions of all kinds to the heroes in 
the Holy Land. The strength of the Normans was en- 
rolled under the cross; the duke of the Puglia, Calabria, 
and Sicily, was a child (Roger IL), under the regency of a 
timid woman, x^bandoned by all, the venerable Pontiff^ 
weakened by age, had recourse to negotiations. But Heiuy 
was firm in retaining his hold on the investitures, and 
Paschal just as firm in his design to abolish them. At 
length, after many proposals and rejections, the Pontift', to 
the astonishment of the world, made the following pro- 
position. All ecclesiastics, without exception, were to 
yield up to Henry all their fiefs and regalia whatever they 
had received from the empire and the kingdom ; and on his 
side, Henry was to renounce the right of investiture with 
staff and ring. It is easy to imagine the joy with which 
Henry acceded to this proposal. Here were the means of 
attaching more nnd more to his person a large number of 
creatures, who would be dependent upon him alone, and not 
hold an allegiance to Pope as well as to emperor. Hos- 
tages were immediately exchanged, and Henry prepared to 
enter the Eternal City. Toward Monte Mario proceeded 
the officers of the Papal court to meet him. and they were 
accompanied by crowds of the people, carrying garlands, 
palms, and olive-branches. Outside the Leonine city were 
stationed bands of Jewish youtli, and in the arch of the 
gate were placed Greek boys and girls ; and as the king 
approached, Hebrew and Greek hymns of praise saluted 
his ears. All the Roman clergy were within the gate, 
arrayed in their most gorgeous vestments, and flanked by 
bands of monks with lighted torches. In spite of all this 
peaceful appearance, the suspicious Henry would not enter 
within the walls, until all the gates and strategic points 
were handed over to his soldiers. On the steps of St. 


Peter's, Pope Paschal, suiToiinded by the cardinals and a 
number of bishops, awaited the king. When Henry arrived, 
he fell ai the Pope's feet, and whsn lifted, kissed the Pontiff 
" on the lips, forehead, and eyes ; " hand in hand, the two 
then entered the basilica. But no sooner did it become 
noised about that all this festive and peaceful scene meant 
the loss, on the part of the ecclesiastics, of nearly all their 
temporal possessions, than there ensued a Babel of discord. 
Nor was Henr}- disposed to fulfil his part of the agreement, 
for when " the Pontiff requested him to restore the rights 
of the Church, as had been agreed in the treaty," the 
answer was returned that "the treaty could not justly and 
legitimately be fulfilled." Pope Paschal therefore refused 
to j^roceed to the coronation of Henry as emperor ; where- 
upon the monarch caused the Pontiff and many of the 
cardinals to be confined under military custody. Immedi- 
ately the Roman people flew to arms, and pouring into the 
great square of St. Peter's, attacked the German soldiery. 
The vestibule and steps of the basilica were drenched with 
the blood of the combatants ; Henry himself was wounded 
in the face, and his horse was killed. The fight lasted 
several hours, and finally the German king drew off his 
troops, and, taking with him the captive Pontiff, retired into 
the Sabine province, where the main body of his army was 
-encamped. During his imprisonment, the determination of 
Paschal was not shaken by any regard for himself, but after 
two months of resistance, regard for the Eo.'nans, who were 
suffering greatly from the hardships of wa^', and pity for 
his fellow-captives, prompted him to sign \h.e following 
Prwiletjf (1) : " That privilege of dignity which our pre- 
decessors conceded to the Catholic emperors, your prede- 
cessors, we also concede to your Belovedness, and confirm 
it by the present page ; that you may confer the investiture 
of staff and ring upon the bishops and abbots of your kino-- 
'doQi, who will have been freely elected, without violence 
or simony." The Pontiff and king Henry now came to- 
gether to Rome for the latter's coronation as emperor, but 
dt was probably the most melancholy coronation which 

(1) Chronicle of Cassino, B. Iv., c. 42. 


Kome ever witnessed. During the entire ceremony, so 
much did the Germans fear another outbreak on the part of 
the Komans, that the gates of the city were kept ch.sed, and 
the Leonine city, that is, the Vatican district, was shut up 
within itself. Immediately after the coronation, the em- 
peror departed for Germany. 

So hostile was the majority of the Sacred College to tlie 
concession made by Pope Paschal, that there wanted but 
little to cause an open schism. The Pontiff retired to 
Terracina, and wished to resign the tiara, but the Koman 
people and clergy sent him a deputation, begging him to 
return. He did so, but the reproaches he constantly en- 
dured became so painful, that he resolved to submit the 
question to a Synod. Accordingly, in April, 1112, three 
hundred bishops met in the Lateran Basilica, and the 
Pontiff humbly laid the affair before them. According to 
Godfrey of Viterbo (1), Pope Paschal laid aside the Pon- 
tifical insignia and offered to abdicate, if the Synod deemed 
it best. The result was that, on the last day of the Synod, 
the Pope issued his Profession of Faith, concluding : " Au-l 
I receive the decrees of the Koman Pontiffs, especially those 
of my lord, Pope Gregory VII., and of Pope Urban of 
blessed memory; whatever they praised, I praise; wha^. . 
they held, I hold ; what they confirmed, I confirm ; what 
they condemned, I condemn ; what they rejected, I reject ; 
what they interdicted, I interdict; what they prohibited, 
I prohibit, in all things ; and in that state, I shall always 
persevere." The following sentence was then promulgated : 
" That Privilege which is not and ought not to be called a 
Privilege, which was violently extorted by King Henry 
from the lord Pope Paschal, for the freedom of the Church 
and of certain captives, we all, met together with the lord 
Pope in this holy Council, condemn, by the judgment of 
the Holy Ghost ; and we judge it to be null, and we cancel 
it entirely, and anathematize it as of no authority or power. 
And it is condemned, because in it is asserted that he who 
is canonically elected by the clergy and the people can be 
consecrated by no one until he has been invested by the 

(i) ( '!iniiii(li . pitrt 17. 


king ; whicli is contrary to the Holy Ghost and the institu- 
tions of the Canons." In the year 1117, Henry Y. deter- 
mined to strike another blow in defense of investitures, and 
he entered Italy with a large army. The countess Matilda 
had just died, and the Pontiff knew that the emperor had 
many partisans in Rome. He therefore betook himself to 
Benevento, to implore the aid of the Normans. When 
Henry arrived in Rome, the Ghibelines received him with 
joy, but as there was no one with whom he could treat on 
the matter in question, and as he feared the effects of the 
climate on his army, he soon retired into Lombardy. Pope 
Paschal now returned, but he soon died. (1118). 

Three days after the death of Pope Paschal II., the- 
cardinals elected the Cassinese monk, the cardinal John 
Gaetano, who took the name of Gelasius II. Immediately 
after the election, the partisans of Henry, headed by Cencio 
Frangipane, rushed into the Lateran, dragged the new 
Pontiff from the sanctuary, covered him with blows and out- 
rages, and carrying him half-dead to Frangipane's. palace, 
thrust him into a dungeon. But the horrified people, al- 
though many of their leaders were in the emperor's pay, 
rescued the Pope by force of arms. Gelasius then prepared 
for his consecration, but before it could be effected, news, 
arrived that Henry was making forced marches on Rome. 
The Pontiff and his court then embarked on galleys, and 
although a furious tempest was then raging, set sail for 
Gaeta. Here he was reverently received by William, duke 
of the Puglia and of Calabria, and by the principal Southern 
barons, and was solemnly consecrated. Henry, being now 
arrived in Rome, again and again sent embassies to Ge- 
lasius, inviting him to return to the capital of Christianity, 
but the Pope feared the fate of his predecessor, and re- 
mained within the walls of Gaeta. The furious emperor 
then called a convention of his ecclesiastical 'partisans, 
declared the election of Gelasius null, and caused the 
pretended election to the Papacy of Maurice Bordino, arch- 
bishop of Braga, in Portugal, who is known among the 
anti-Popes as Gregory VIII. Having obtained from his 
creature a pseudo -confirmation of the right of investiture, 


Hemy returned to Germany. Gelasius now re-entered 
Home, but fear of the Ghibelines very soon caused another 
flight. At first he sought refuge at Pisa, then at Genoa, and 
finally made a pilgrimage to Cluny. Here be was take)i 
with his death-sickness, and having caused himself to h 
laid upon the grouUid, and his suffering frame to be sprinkled 
with ashes, he yielded his soul to God, in February, 1119. 

Three days after the death of Pope Gelasius II.. the 
cardinals and Roman clergy who bad accompanied him to 
Cluny met in that monastery, and chose for bis successor 
Guido of Burgundy, archbishop of Vienne, in Dauphiny, 
son of the great William of Burgundy, and uncle of Ade- 
laide, queen of Louis the Fat. The cardinals remaining In 
Pfcome having signified their assent, Guido ascended the 
Papal throne as Calixtus II. Having called a Synod oi 
213 bishops, and a large number of abbots, at Elieims, in 
November, 1119, he confirmed the anathemas pronounced 
against Henry and the anti-Pope Bordone, and re-asserted 
the abolition of investitures. Being recognized as head of 
the Church by all but a few of Henry's creatures, he left 
France in 1121, and entered Rome in triumph. Bordone 
had retreated and thrown himself into the strongly forti- 
fied city of Sutri, relying upon the fidelity of its Ghibeline 
citizens and confidently expecting aid from Henry. But 
in a few days the Sutrini, wearied of the state of siege 
maintained by the troops of Pope Calixtus, and being, 
besides, terrified by the anathemas whicli hung over them, 
seized the wretched Bordone and handed him over to 
the Papal commander. Conducted to Rome lie finished bis 
days in a monastery. While in France, Poj^e Calixtus had. 
for a short time, flattered himself tliat the question of inves- 
titures was at length terminated. Tbe legates of the Pon- 
tiff and the imperial representatives had met near Metz, 
and had signed a compact, whereby the emperor re- 
signed all claim to investitures, and tbe Pontiff admitted 
Henry to communion. Tbis convention baving been re- 
ported to Calixtus, then at Rheims, he sent to the camp of 
Henry the cardinal John of Ostia and three other legates, 
to urge the emperor to immediately fulfil his part of the 


oompacL To their indignation, Henry hesitated and 
demanded delay, that he might consult the princes of the 
empire. Day after day the final settlement was postponed 
until, at length, nothing seemed to stand in the way of 
peace, but the comparatively unimportant question as to 
whether the emperor should publicly, and bare-footed, beg 
the Pontiff's pardon. The Pope had already advanced 
considerably ou the way to the interview, when the legates 
began to suspecl; a trap on the part of the unscrujoulous 
Henry. They found that he had collected a force of thirty 
thousand men and that the number was hourly increasing. 
Hurriedly returning to Calixtus, they prevailed upon him 
to turn aside and take refuge in the camp of the powerful 
■count of Troyes. Henry then wrote to the count, asking 
him to detain the Pontiff for one day, that the peace might 
be concluded. The faithful noble refused to interfere, and 
before daylight Calixtus started for Rlieims, making the 
journey of twenty leagues in time to celebrate mass the 
same day, and consecrate the bishop of Liege. Calling 
together the members of the Synod then sitting in Rlieims, 
Calixtus re-excommunicated Henry. In 1121, as we have 
said, the Pontiff returned to his capital. He soon learned 
that Henry was, at length, sincerely desirous of peace. 
Profoundly discouraged by the fall of Bordone and by the 
Teconciliation of the clergy and people of Lombardy with 
the Holv See, and findino; that his own Germans were 
heartily sick of the long struggle with the Papacy, the 
monarch finally yielded to the prayers of the barons, and 
made overtures to Calixtus. The bishop of Spire and the 
abbot of Fulda were sent to Rome, with instructions to 
request the convocation of a general Council, ' in order 
that whatever could not be settled by human judgment, 
might be arranged by the Holy Ghost." The Pope then 
commissioned the cardinal Lambert of Ostia and two other 
cardinals to receive Henry into the Church, after he had 
abandoned all claim to investiture, and to accord to him 
the right of superintending elections, and of giving the re- 
galia, hy means of the sceptre. The following agreement was 
presented to the Diet at Worms : " I, Henry, by the grace 


of God, august emperor of the Romans, for the love of God' 
and of the lord Pope Calixtus, and for the good of my 
soul, do yield to God and to his holy apostles Peter and 
Paul, and to the Holy Catholic Church, every investiture 
by staff and ring, and do grant that in all churches free 
election and consecration be held. I restore to the same 
Holy Pioman Church all the possessions and regalia of 
Blessed Peter which have been appropriated from the be- 
ginning of this discord until to-day, and which I hold ; and 
as for those which I do not hold, I shall faithfully see that 
they are restored. I shall also faithfully help in the resti- 
tution of the possessions of all the other churches, of the 
princes, and of others, both clerics and laymen ; and I 
accord true peace to the lord Pope Calixtus, to the Holy 
Roman Church, and to all who are or have been on their 
side ; and I shall faithfully aid the Holy Roman Church in 
all she asks of me.— I, Calixtus, servant of the servants of 
God, do grant unto thee, beloved son Henry, by the grace 
of God, august emperor of the Romans, that in thy presence 
be held, without simony or any violence, those elections of 
bishops and abbots of the German kingdom, which belong 
to the kingdom ; so that, if any discord shall arise between 
the parties, thou mayest, by the advice and judgment of the 
metropolitan and provincials, give countenance and aid to 
the deserving side. The person elected shall receive the 
regalia from thee, by means of the sceptre, and shall effect 
what he owes to thee of right ; excepting all those things 
which are known to belong to the Roman Church. Any 
one, however, who is consecrated in other parts of the em- 
pire, shall receive from thee the regalia, by means of the 
sceptre, within six months. I shall grant my aid, accord- 
ing to the duties of my office, in all things of which thou 
mayest complain to me. I accord true peace to thee, and 
to all who are or have been on thy side during this 
discord. Given on the ninth of the Calends of October, of 
the year 1122." With the signing of this compact the 
war of investitures came, for all practical purposes 
to an end. A finishing stroke was given to the dispute^ 
in the Ninth General Council, the first of the Lateran, 


"•but of that assembly we shall speak in a special chapter. 
Some authors, hostile to the Holy See, have deemed 
themselves especially brilliant when they asserted that the 
struggle about investitures was merely a dispute as to 
whether the regalia should be conferred " with a crooked 
stick, or a straight one." (1). In this connection, the 
" crooked stick " or crosier was the emblem of spiritual 
power, and the Church would have stultified herself had 
she sanctioned its use by a secular ruler ; "the straight 
stick " or sceptre, the emblem of temporal jurisdiction, was 
the proper insignia with Avhich to invest a prelate with his 
temporal estate. This is admitted even by Mosheim (2) : 
*' Nor is this reason a foolish one, if we regard, not the 
•opinions of our own day, but of an age when the staff and 
jring were signs of sacred things, and when he who deliv- 
ered these signs was thought to give sacred power with 
-them." No Catholic will deny that the Church has the 
right to defend her liberty against any potentate or society 
interfering with it. In the time of St. Gregory VII. bish- 
oprics and abbacies were as much the subject of barter and 
sale as any goods in the public markets, and they were 
handed over to the highest bidder by means of the staff 
■and ring, the emblems of spiritual power. Listen to St. 
Ansel m of Lucca, the right hand of St. Gregory in this 
war : " Your king constantly sells bishoprics, publishing 
edicts to the effect that no one shall be regarded as a bishop, 
even though elected by the clergy and sought by the people, 
unless according to the royal pleasure ; as though he were 
•the keeper of this gate . . . you dismember the Catholic 
•Church, attacking her throughout the entire kingdom, and 
having reduced her to vile slavery, hold her under your 
dominion, subjecting her liberty, divinely accorded, to your 
-will, saying that to the emperor belong all things, bishop- 
rics, abbacies, and all the churches of God ; although the 
liord says ' My Church, My dove, My sheep,' and St. Paul 
says ' Let no one take unto himself the honor, unless called 
:by God, like Aaron' . . = . Who is elected because of morals, 

(1) Thiif, for instance, the authors of the famous Art of Verifying Dates. 
:(2) Cent. XL, ij. 'i, c. a, in note. 


or honesty, or integrity ? The wolves are to be attacked, 
etc." But the granting of investitures by staff and ring was 
an ancient custom, replied the German sovereigns. To this 
assertion, the holy bishop of Lucca replies : " We need not. 
dispute about the length of time that this condemnable 
practice of the secular power, appointing bishops at its 
pleasure, has been in vogue. That custom is rather to be 
followed which was originated by our Catholic ancestors, 
treading in the footsteps of their fathers ; namely, that 
sanctioned by the prelates of the Seventh and Eighth 
Councils, according to the statutes of the holy Eomart 
Pontiffs, which were founded on the practice of all the- 
churches from the times of the Apostles. The wickedness- 
of secular princes is of no prejudice to that holy custom,, 
no matter how long it has been manifested. Otherwise, the- 
Lord our God is to be blamed because He freed the Jews, 
who had been a long time in bondage, and because, by His- 
own death, He liberated man from the slavery of the devil, 
which had lasted for five thousand years Again, while 
adultery is forbidden by the Old and New Testament, are 
kings allowed to commit it, because former kings did so ? 
God forbid ! . . . . Any ecclesiastic whose zeal is not excited 
for the cleansing of God's house from this stain is not cour- 
sumed with zeal for that house, and God will regar 1 him as 
a mute dog who cannot bark. Who does not see that this- 
plague is the cause of the heresy of simony, and the 
lamentable destruction of the whole Christian religion ?' 
When the episcopal dignity can be obtained from a prince,, 
in spite of the bishops and priests, the Church of God is- 
contemned ; one man pours a large amount of money into 
the purses of the courtiers, that their influence may work 
his infamous promotion ; another, at great expense, serves 
ten years at court, patiently suffering the rigors of the 
seasons and everything else ; another constantly yearns for 
the death of the prelate to wliose post he aspires. And 
alas! Often dignities are conferred upon slaves ar.d foiiii- 
cators. When such persons have obtained their posts by 
such means, they dare not reprove the powerful wli^n 'hev 



Clerical Celibacy. 

One of the most difficult of the tasks imposed upon him- 
self by Pope St. Gregory VII. was the enforcement of the 
law of clerical celibacy. According to Leo of Ostia (d, 
1110), when Gregory ascended the Pontifical throne "one 
seldom found a priest without a wife or a concubine " ; (1) 
and Lambert of Aschaffenburg (d. 1077), tells us that many 
of the clergy resisted the Pontiff's " insane teaching," as 
they styled the decrees on celibacy, and declared that if 
" he proceeded to enforce them, they would sooner abandon 
the priesthood than the conjugal state, and then let Gregory 
seek for angels to minister to the people of the Church of 
God." In such a state of affairs, says Barouio, speaking of 
the reformatory efforts undertaken, with the aid of Hilde- 
brand, by Leo IX., the Pontiff must have felt as does a 
farmer about to free an immense field of a growth of thorns 
and weeds. But Hildebrand was not dismayed. Whether 
as a deacon of the Roman Church, and confidential adviser 
of several Pontiffs, or as himself the incumbent of the 
Papal Cliair, he pursued his favorite object with unvarying 
fortitude. His zeal in this matter, as we learn from Otho 
of Frisingen, caused many bishops to urge Henry IV. to 
oppose his election. In 1074 Gregory held a Plenary 
Council of all the bishops of Italy, and decreed that ' all 
ecclesiastical ministrations are forbidden to incontinent 
clergymen ; under pain or deposition, no clergyman shall 
marry ; no one shall receive Holy Orders unless he solemn- 
Iv promises continency, according to the decrees of the 
ancient and holy Councils." 

Mosheim (2), Potter (3), Ranke (4), and most Protestant 
authors, condemn the action of Pope Gregory VII as an 
innovation upon ancient discipline. Among the writers 

'^) Life of Sf. John Gnalhert. 

(^) Ziisf. HM- EccL, cent- xi., p. 2. 

'•■) S'f/ni( of the Church, vol. v., p. 2, b. 2. 

{■-) Paijcicy, vol. 1-, b. 1, §3. 


M'ho have defended the Pontiflf from this charge, proving 
the antiquity and propriety of clerical celibacy, the palm 
of success must be accorded to Zaccaria, in his Polemical 
History of Holy Celibacy. The reader may also consult with 
profit Gaume's Ecclesiastical Celibacy in its Beligious and 
Political Relations ; the Celibacy of Rosmini ; the Protestan- 
tism and Catholicism Compared of Balmes ; and the Diction- 
ary of Bergier, We now proceed to show that neither St. 
Gregory VIL, nor any of the Benedictine Pontiffs, to whom 
Eanke ascribes the design of making monks of the secular 
clergy, instituted the system of clerical celibacy ; that, iu 
fine, this system is quite as old as the Church herself. 
Such was the opinion of St. Jerome (b. 340) ; for he says 
that " Christ, a virgin, and Mary, a virgin, consecrated the 
love of virginity (dedicavere principia) in both sexes. The 
Apostles were either virgins, or, after their nuptials- 
were continent." (4). 

In the Third Synod of Carthage (39 7) the primate Aure- 
lius, speaking of celibacy, says : " Let us also follow what 
the Apostles taught, and what antiquity observed." Such 
is the testimony of the African church, which derived her 
discipline directly from Rome. In the year 385, Pope St, 
Siricius addressed to Himerius, bishop of Tarragona, a 
letter iu reply to one sent by that prelate to the previous 
Pontiff, St. Damasus, in which the Pope had been consulted 
as to the course to be pursued toward certain clergymen 
who had married. Himerius had informed St. Damasus 
that some of the delinquents alleged ignorance as an excuse, 
while others justified their course by the example of the 
l^riests of the Old Law. In his answers to Himerius, St 
Siricius declares the absolute obligation of ecclesiastical 
celibacy, and speaks of it in such terms as to leave no 
doubt as to the antiquity of the custom. After adducing 
arguments from the Gospel and from St. Paul, to show the 
propriety of the discipline in question, the Pontiff' subjoins : 
" We all, priests and levites, are bound, by an irrefragable^ 
law, to devote our hearts and bodies, from the dav of our 
ordination, to sobriety and purity .... And since some 

(■IJ Epistle 48, to Pammachms. 


-of those of whom we speak, according to your Holiness, 
lament their fall through ignorance, we do not deny them 
mercy, but on this condition, that, if they hereafter prove 
to be continent, they may officiate in their present dignities, 
but are to receivo no further promotion. As for those who 
try to excuse themselves by the concessions of the Old 
Law, they are deprived, by the authority of the Apostolic 
See, of every ecclesiastical honor which they have so un- 
worthily used, nor can they ever again handle those 
venerable Mysteries, of which, by clinging to obscene 
cupidities, they have deprived themselves. And whereas 
the present cases warn us tc look to the future, every bish- 
op, priest, and deacon, wha shall hereafter be found like 
unto them, — and we trust ncne will — must know that every 
avenue to our mercy will be closed to them, for those 
wounds must be treated with the knife, which do not heal 
under the influence of milder remedies." The Pontiff then 
orders Himerius to communicate this Apostolic Letter to 
the Carthaginians, Boetians, Lusitaniaus, Gauls, and as many 
as he can reach. Here, then, is a Pontifical decree, enjoin- 
ing that celibacy which Ranke and others would have us re- 
gard as an invention of Hildebrand, written seven hundred 
years before his time, and the language of the Pontiff plain- 
ly indicates the previous existence of the law he enforces. 
In the year 405 Pope St. Innocent I. also was consulted 
on this matter by Exuperius, bishop of Toulouse, and the 
Pontiff replied as follows : "In such cases the discipline of 
the divine law is clear, and the commands of bishop Siri- 
cius, of blessed memory, went forth ; that is, that persons 
enjoying such offices (the higher Orders), who proved incon- 
tinent, should be deprived of all ecclesiastical honor, and 
ought not to be permitted to exercise a ministry that ought 
to be conducted only by the continent." In view of these 
decrees of his early predecessors, St. Gregory VII. prop- 
erly declared that he made no innovation in the matter of 
celibacy, and most reasonable was his decree, directed to 
Otho of Constance, that " if they contemn our behests, yea, 
those of the holy Fathers, the people must in no way re- 
ceive their ministrations." 


The custom of the Greek Church, united and schismatic, 
is adduced by the foes of ecclesiastical celibacy to show the 
futility of the reasons put forth by the Westerns in justifi- 
cation of their discipline ; to prove that married clergymen 
may fulfil their duties with zeal, etc. But there are several 
points to be noticed in the discipline of the Greeks, which 
our adversaries generally keep in the background. Firstly, 
the Greek Canons do not allow a priest or deacon to con- 
tract matrimony after his ordination. (1) Secondly, they 
have nearly always prohibited the use of matrimony to 
bishops. As a rule, the bishops are taken from the monas- 
teries ; and when, perchance, a secular priest is chosen, his 
wife, if he have one, must enter a nunnery. The only 
recorded exception to this latter point of discipline is that 
of the learned Neo-Platonician Synesius (410), who, being 
forced into the see of Ptolemais, endeavored to escape In- 
protesting that he could not forego the society of his wife, 
and therefore received permission to retain her. But this 
very fact proves the existence of the contrary discipline. 
Thirdly, SS. Jerome and Epiphanius, and Eusebius, show 
us that among the olden Orientals, at least in Egypt and 
Syria, there were instances of enforced sacerdotal celibacy. 
Fourthly, the 26th Apostolic Canon, though not authentic, 
was greatly respected by the early Greek Christians, and it 
allowed only lectors and chanters to be married. And the 
Council of Neo-Csesarea (315) deposes a priest who marries 
after his ordination. When Pope St. Gregory YII. enforced 
the already existing law of ecclesiastical celibacy, he had 

(U Tlicse Canons are observod by the United Greeks, but, as is shown by Joseph 
niani (Lihrani ,>f Oriental Law. B. i., c. 13, no. 301). the practice of the schismatic clerpy 
is to take as many successive wives as tliey wish provided these be virtrins; Ihey c;il a 
widow, when again married, only "half a wife. " but sometimes they marry such. I he 
Uiissiaii ••oiihodo.K" church iuis. in iiKidern limes. forir<itten the aiicu'iit (.reek Can^n.;, 
i)n)tiiliiiitit.' I)riests and deacons frnm niarryintr after llieir ordination. I'.cf.ue ilie time 
(jf I'cter ttie (Jreat, a priestlv widower wiis()l)lit.'ed t(j retire to a inniuisteiy. 1 ui in i.-.t tins- 
head of tlie " <>rlhodo.x " cliurch allowed a sei'ond marriaure to a priest, and permitted him 
to he emploved in a seminarv oi tpiscopal chaiic-ry. Tlie followiufr is tlje celihitic disci- 
pline of the'United (Ireeks, Hutt inians. .Maronites. and such other followers of the oru-nial 
rites as are in communion with Rome. I. l{ishoi)s cannot, after their coiiseciiiiioii, either 
marry again or cohabit with tlie wives married before their ordination. If the newlv 
consecrated has a wife liviiiir, she niiisl retire lo a distanl iiuiine' v, and there be siipp'irled 
by her late husband. U. Priests and ileacotis may. in accordance with tlieTriiUan Canon 
Xin. ly. <iii:i), keep the; wives taken befoie ilieir ordiniitioii. hut tlii-y must nhstaiii from 
marital intercourse for some time before olllcialinif at the altar. Tope Clement VIII. (l.")0,'- 
Kio.')!, ill his CdiixHI •Jl, ordered this alisliiieiice to he. if possible, for seven, and at any r:ite, 
for three days. III. Priests and deacons cannot mariv after onliimlion ; such was the ile- 
creeof Beneilict XIV. {liiillariuin, vol. i.J titislil. .")7i, issued May ti. 171-2, ami sinh atteii jil 
at marriage was pronounc<Ml null. Hut in the case of priestly converts from schism, the 
same Pont i IT decreed (Coiixtit. l-,".)i that the Holy See might permit the retention of a wife 
taken after ordinutiou. 


nj intention of interfering with, xhe ancient custom of tbe 
Eastern churches. He simply fulfiikd his duty, in insist- 
ing upon obedience to the Canons which he found, upon his 
accession to the Papacy, in force in the West. And here we 
may remark that no theologian pretends that clerical 
celibacy is a matter of divine law. The Holy See, if it sees 
fit, may abrogate the discipline at once. In fac-t, dispensa- 
tions have frequently been granted in particular cases, as 
we shall soon show. 

Mosheim finds an argument against the antiquity ^t the 
celibitic discipline in the fact that so many of th^ clergy 
resisted St. Gregory's enactments. So did the Arians resist 
the definition of the Church upon the Divinity of Christ, 
but Mosheim would not contend that their repugnance fur- 
nishes a proof that the early Church did not believe in that; 
Divinity. It is not our province to enter upon a polemical 
discussion as to the advantages of clerical celibacy, but 
there is one assertion of certain of its adversaries that we 
ought not to disregard. They affect to discover in St. 
Gregory VIL a design to found a sacerdotal caste, by means 
of which his theocratic ideas might be disseminated and 
actuated. Celibacy, they say, segregates the clergy from 
the world to a great extent, and forms them into a body 
more amenable to central authority, more deeply penetrated 
by an e.sprif de corps, than a married priesthood shows itself 
to be. But, we ask, would not matrimony have been for 
the Pontiff a more powerful means whereby to perpetuate 
a priestly caste ? Can a caste easily endure, without the 
principle of heredity ? As Balmes rightly observes (1), had 
the Church been solely intent upon aggrandizing herself, by 
any and every means, she would rather have imitated 
those who instituted an hereditary class, and would have al- 
lowed her priests to marry. 

We are frequently told that several of the Apostles were 
married men, and sometimes St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 
215) is cited against us. This father says : " Will they con- 
demn the Apostles ? Peter and Philip had chiklren, and the 
latier gave his daughters in marriage. Paul in one of 

(1) Loc. cit., c 60. 


his epistles, finds no difficulty in speaking of his wife ; he 
did not take her aloDg on his journeys, because he had no 
need of much service, but he says in his letter : ' have we 
not power to lead about a woman, a sister, as well as the 
rest of the Apostles?'" In citing this passage of St. 
Clement, our adversaries cunningly omit the following 
words of the saint: " But since they (the Apostles) gave 
all their attention to preaching, a task which does not ad- 
mit of distraction, they were accompanied by these women, 
iiot as spouses, but as sisters, in order that they themselves 
might enter, without suspicion, into the apartments of 
women, and there communicate the doctrine of the Lord." 
(1). But is it true that several of the Apostles were married 
men ? And if they were, did they continue the marriage 
relation during their Apostolate ? Now, as to the remark 
concerning "^H Paul and Philip, made by St. Clement of 
Alexandria, it is certain that he erred, and his mistake has 
been noticed by ancients and moderns. (2). The Philip 
with two daughters was not an Apostle, but was one of 
the seven deacons. As for St. Paul, does the following 
language sound like that of a married man, or at least like 
that of one who kept up the marriage relation ? " Defraud 
not one another, except, perhaps by consent, for a time, 
that you may give yourselves to prayer ; and return to- 
gether again, lest Satan tempt you for your iucontiuency. 
But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. For I 
ivould that all 'men ivere even as myself; but every one hath 
his proper gift from God : one after this manner, and one 
after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows ; 
it is good for them if they so continue, even as I." (3). Nor 
can it be replied that St. Paul would not have this rule ap- 
plicable to all time, for the reasons which he assigns for 

(1) Strnmata, B. lii., c. C. St. Chrysostom, Theodoret, Isidore Peliisiotes. Eeumenius, and 
Theophylactus— all Greeks- Interpret the passage of St. Paul as alliuiiuK. uot to irina. luit 
to women who acpompauied the Apostles as assistants, espeelally in liouseliold njaiters. 
All the Latin fathers understand the iiiiilnrnn sororein (ndcliiliin hhikuImO of St. Paul's, 
I. Cor. ix., as iiidicMtiiiL'- fitlii-r a wife with whom there was ni) Ion)jerany cohahiiation, or 
some worthy wciman wlio aided the Aposilt-s in their works of charity, and took char^re of 
their domestic concerns ; tlie lli'st class of writers -.uv re])resented liy St. Avitus of Vienne 
In a letter to kiiiK (iuadohald nf Hie lUnjruiidians (HAi.tZK, MisviUitiui, B. i.), and the se<v 
ond by St. .leroine (B. i., ininiiitt .hiriiiiiiii). St. Augustine ( lI'orA- of Maiilis. c 4), St- Leo 
I.\- (<'aii. oniiii/io. (/I'sf. 31), and even TertuUian [Moinnjamu, c. S> whose authority is 
adduced apalnst our thesis. „ , „ ,. , , 

f-'i See the Critical Notes on the Stromata. (3) L Cor- vli. 5—8. 


celibacy, in the same chapter, are valid at every period. 
As for St. Peter, he was undoubtedly, before his vocation, 
possessed of a wife, but he said to his Master : " We have 
left all things and have followed Thee." (1). Finally, in 
citing St. Clement of Alexandria, the opponents of clerical 
celibacy omit to mention that the saint is combating those 
heretics of his day who condemned marriage as an evil 
thing ; he by no means wished all to enter into that state. 

The opponents of clerical celibacy are fond of adducing 
the instance of Gregory, father of St. Gregory Nazianzen, 
as a proof that, in early times, bishops were not obliged to 
observe continency ; St. Nonna, wife of Gregory, gave birth, 
they say, to the saintly prelate, some time after his father 
became a bishop. Even among Catholic writers are found 
some who hold this opinion— namely, Tillemont, Baillet, 
the Benedictine editors of St. Basil, and Ceillier. Baronio, 
Alexandre, and Tournely combated this idea, but its full 
and triumphant refutation is due to the Bollandist Stilting 
(2), and after him, to Zaccaria, in his New Justification of 
Holy Celibacy (3). In the first place, we may observe, with 
Baronio, that St. Jerome tells us that even Jovinian ac- 
knowledged that " he could not be a bishop, who begat 
children during his episcopacy ; if this were found to be 
the case, he would be condemned as an adulterer " (4). 
How is it, then, that the Arians, who did everything pos- 
sible to detract from St. Gregory Nazianzen's reputation, 
never thought of calling him illegitimate? And how do 
our adversaries show that St. Gregory Nazianzen was born 
during the episcopacy of his father ? Their only argument 
is drawn from a distich, in which the saint introduces his 
father as saying to him : " Thou hast not yet lived as many 
years as I have spent in sacrifices " (5). Baronio thinks 
that the verses are hyperbolic ; Papebroch conjectures that 
there is some error in them ; Alexandre accepts both of 

(1) Matth. xix. 27, 

(2) Dissertation on the Date of Birth of St. Gregory Nazianzen, published in 1750, in 
vol. iii. for SeiAeiiiher- 

(3) Foligno, 17S5, p. 121. 

(1» Aijaingt JoviiiuDi. St. Jerome wrote this passag-e ouly thirty years after the death o!' 
Nazianzen, and a little further on he speaks of this discipline as obtaining throughout the 

(5) The Greek text has : Oupo tosouton ekmemetrika» bion, ogos diilthe thiision emoi 
chronos. (On His Life, 1., c. 35). 


these opinions ; Touruely supposes that the father of the 
saint compares the years of his son with the time which 
has passed since he himself was baptized, and became, 
therefore, a participant in the sacred Mysteries. At any 
rate, the verses are sufficiently ambiguous to prevent any 
serious argument to be drawn from them. The word thiision 
does not necessarily mean the Christian Sacrifice of the 
Mass ; nay, it is much more appropriate to signify the 
Pagan mysteries, to which, before his conversion, the father 
of Nazianzen was addicted. The word ekmcmetrikas is also 
ambiguous, and if, as Stilting translates it, " thou hast not 
considered " is the true meaning, the whole passage would 
read : " Thou hast not considered my age ; I am not able 
any longer to sacrifice."' But there are good reasons for 
believing that St. Gregory Nazianzen was born before the 
conversion of his father from Paganism. I. It is certain 
that the father was converted in 325. Now, in one of his 
poems, the saint says that he and his bosom friend, St. Basil, 
had resolved to leave Athens, where they had been study- 
ing many years : " For much time had been spent in study ; 
it was now my thirtieth year." That the words " my 
thirtieth year " do not mean his thirtieth year of age, but 
liis thirtieth year of study at Athens, is the opinion of the 
Greek priest Gregory, who compiled his life. All critics 
admit that the saint left Athens in 355 ; he therefore com- 
menced his Athenian studies in 326. Precocious though 
he was, he could not have begun the study "of eloquence, " 
which was his object in going to Athens, before his tenth 
year ; therefore, concludes Stilting, he was born about 316, 
while his father was yet a Pagan. II. In certain of their 
writings, both St Gregory and St. Basil speak of their 
extreme old age. The former says that he is ' oppressed 
by hoary age ; his members are withered by long life and 
sickness ; " (1) he appeals to the prefect Olympius to have 
mercy on the citizens, for the sake of his gray hairs. (2). 
Now it is certain that St. Gregory died in 389. Can we 
sujipose that he would use such language as the above 
when he was not sixty years old '? Yet, according to our 

\l) Oration 27. (2) Epist. 172. 


-adversaries, he would have so spoken, for they place his 
birth in 329, and the expressions noted were penned some 
years before his death. III. We know that, when the 
father of St. Gregory was ordained priest, he was fifty-five 
years old, and that his wife, St. Nonna, was of about the 
same age. (1) Are we to believe that St. Nonna gave birth 
to our saint at that period of her life ? IV. St. Gregory 
himself is, at least implicitly, an authority for the assertion 
that his birth preceded bis father's conversion. Narrating 
the life of his father, he is very particular in observing the 
order of events, and whenever he, for a moment, deviates 
from chronological sequence, he reminds us of it. But he 
speaks of his own birth before he mentions his father's 
conversion, and makes no sign of realizing that he has 
interrupted the order of time. (2) For the above reasons, 
and especially because of the testimony of St. Jerome con- 
cerning the discipline obtaining in his day, we must hold 
that St. Gregory Nazianzen was born before his father's 
elevation to the episcopal dignity. 

Although we avoid discussing the economic, romantic, 
and sanitary reasons alleged against the celibitic life of the 
clergy, we deem it proper to direct the reader's attention to 
the following remarks of Lingard : " To calculate the 
probable influence of this institution on the population of 
nations has frequently amused the ingenuity and leisure of 
arithmetical politicians ; of whom many have not hesitated 
to arraign the wisdom of those by whom it was originally 
devised, and of those by whom it is still observed. Yet, 
in defiance of their speculations, several Catholic countries 
continue to be crowded with inhabitants ; and to account 
for the scanty population of others we need only to advert 
to the defects of their constitution, the insalubrity of the 
climate, the establishment of foreign colonies, and the 
barrenness of a parched and effete soil. Neither is it certain 
tbat to increase the number of inhabitants is, in all cir- 
cumstances, to increase the resources of the state ; but it is 
evident that the man who spends his life in promoting the 

(1) Omh"onl9 and 10. 

(2) <>m< ion 19. Stilting develops this argument at some length. 


interests of morality and correcting the vicious propen- 
sities of his fellow-creatures, adds more to the sum of 
public virtue and of public happiness than he whose prin- 
cipal merit is the number of his children. If it be granted 
that the clerical functions are of high importance to the 
welfare of the state, it must also be acknowledged that, in 
the discharge of these functions, the unmarried possesses 
great and numerous advantages over the married clergyman. 
Unencumbered with the cares of a family, he may dedicate 
his whole attention to the spiritual improvement of his 
parishioners ; free from all anxiety respecting the future es- 
tablishment of his children, he may expend without scruple 
the superfluity of his revenue in relieving the distresses of 
the sick, the aged, and the unfortunate. Had Augustine 
and his associates been involved in the embarrassments of 
marriage, they would never have torn themselves from their 
homes and country, and have devoted the best portion of 
their lives to the conversion of distant and unknown bar- 
barians. Had their successors seen themselves surrounded 
with numerous families, they would never have founded 
those charitable establishments, nor have erected those 
religious edifices, that testify the use to which they devoted 
their riches, and still exist to reproach the parsimony of 
succeeding generations. (1). But it was not from the im- 
policy of the institution, that the reformers attempted to 
justify the eagerness with which they emancipated them- 
selves from its yoke. They contended that the law of 
clerical celibacy was unjust, because it deprived man of his 
natural rights, and exacted privations incompatible with 
his natural propensities. To tins objection a rational 
answer was returned : that to accept the priestly character 
was a matter of election, not of necessity ; and that he who 
freely made it the object of his choice, chose at the same 
time the obligations annexed to it. The insinuation that 

n ) " He that hatli wife and children," says Lord Baron, " hath t'iven hosiapps to fortune ; 
for they are Impediniciils ti) >rreat enterprises, I'illier of virtue or iiiisohief. Certainly ilie 
best works, and of ilie ^'reatfst merit for the imlilic. liave proceeded from the unmarried or 
thechlldless men. whicti, l)oili in iitTcctioii and means, liave married and endowed tlie ptihhc. 

I'nmarried men are liest friends, liest masters, nnd tiest >erv;ints \ sin'.'le I'fe 

doili' well with eliurchmen, for charily will liardly water tlu' irroiind. urdess it must tlrst nil 
a pool." f>.«/i i/.s, p. 1", London, WM>. Seneca says : " ('on.1iiu'al life Itreaks liiyh and generous, 
spirits, aud draws Ibem from great to the most debasing thoughts." 


a life of continency was above the power of man was treated 
with the contempt that it deserved. To those, indeed, whom 
habit had rendered the obsequious slaves of their passions, 
it might appear, with reason, too arduous an attempt ; but 
the thinking part of mankind Avould hesitate before they 
sanctioned an opinion which was a libel on the character of 
thousands, who, in every department of society, are confined 
by their circumstances to a state of temporary or perpetual 
celibacy." (1). 

Many dispensations from the obligation of celibacy have 
been accorded to ecclesiastics, and Zaccaria gives a long list 
in his New Justification, already cited. He doubts as to the 
dispensation given, according to Volterrano, Claude Espen- 
ceus, and others, to a bishop of Vardin (year 1096), in order 
that he might marry and raise heirs to the Hungarian, 
throne, offered to him after the death of St. Ladislaus. 
But Mariana (B. xiii., c. 9) gives as certain a dispensation 
accorded to Peter, archbishop of Seville, and son of Fer- 
dinand III., king of Leon, to marry the princess Christiana 
of Denmark. In the Metropolis Scdisburgensis and in the 
Germanm Sacra, is recorded a dispensation given in 1322, 
to the archduke Albert of Austria, parochus of Vienna, and 
bishop-elect of Passau, to marry Jane, daughter of Ulric, 
last count of Pfird. Claude Espeuceus {Redemption of Vows, 
B. v., c. 7) and the Christian Gaul (vol. v.), narrate that, in 
1391, Burchard of Lutzelstein, bishop of Strasburg, was 
allowed to resign his see, and to marry. Caesar Campana 
speaks of two dispensations, one in the line of the counts 
of Flanders (p. iv., no. 40;, and one in that of the counts of 
Holland (no. 50). The first was in favor of Peter, lord of 
Alsace and bishop of Cambray, allowed to marry Sybil, 
daughter of the count of Nevers. The second was given to 
John, son of Alberic, (or Albert), count of Holland, who, in 
1118, was permitted by Pope Martin V. to resign the bishop- 
ric of Liege, and to marry Elizabeth of Luxemburg. The 
Metropolis Salisburgensis (vol. i., p. 180, no. 48) and the 
Ecclesiastical Historij of Germany, Brussels, 1721, (vol. ii., p. 
24), narrate that Ptobert, count palatine and bishop of 

(1) Antiquities of the Anylo-Saxon Church, c. 2. 


Frisingen, resigned his diocese to his brother Philip, and, 
bj a dispensation from Pope Alexander VI., married Mar- 
garet, duchess of Landshut. In a memorial presented to 
Clement XL, for the prince de Vcndome, it is said that 
Gregory XIII. similarly dispensed a certain archbishoj), 
but his name is not given. Alexander VI. allowed Cjiesar 
Borgia, a cardinal-deacon and archbishop of Valencia, to 
lay aside the purple and marry Charlotte d'Albret. Greg 
ory XIII. wished to dispense the cardinal Charles of 
Portugal^ uncle of king Sebastian, that he might give heirs 
to the crown, but the cardinal, alleging that he was too old 
— seventy-seven — declined to marry. In 1648, Innocent X. 
granted two dispensations to the Jesuit father. John Casimir 
of Poland— then a cardinal. Having been elected king of 
Poland, he was allowed to resign the purple, and was per- 
mitted to marry Mary Louisa di Gonzaga, the widow of his 
brother Ladislaus. In 1709, Clement XL, allowed the car- 
dinal Francis dei Medici to marry Leonora di Gonzaga, 
daughter of the duke of Guastalla. The above instances of 
dispensation in the matter of celibacy, the reader will ob- 
serve, are all in cases of cardinals and bishops. Although 
Zaccaria secured the good offices of Gaetano Marini, the 
Vatican archivist at the time, to search for evidence, he 
procured no '■ particular documents " referring to similar 
dispensations in cases^ of simple priests. He tells us, 
however, that Latino Latini wrote to Pope Pius IV: ' Your 
Holiness has the example of your pr(-decessor, Paul III., of 
happy memory, who, by letters which now exist (but which 
Zaccaria could not find), gave to three bishops the faculty of 
dispensing, in the cases of such ])riests as had married, jiro- 
vided they were men of great learning." In modern days, the 
only instance of a validation of priestly marriages is that by 
2ms VII., in the case of the French Const if utioneh, who had 
•married during the Revolution. Many deacons have been al- 
lowed to marry. In 1040, Benedict IX. dispensed in tlic case 
of Casimir, a monk of Cluny, for the sake of the Polish 
succession; see Louginus [Hi-^f. Pulou., B. iii.) and Cromer 
(Orlffin and Affairs of (he Polcfi, B. iv. ). In 1854, Clement 
VI. allowed Hi^ni V, bic^tlu^r of king Rudol[)li of Bohemia, 


rjo marry Elizabeth of Witteraberg ; see Espeuceus, {loc. at., 
B. v., c. 7). lu 1534:, Paul III. dispensed in the case of 
James Jacovacci ; see Register of Paul III. In 1572, Greg- 
ory XIII. did the same with Francis, baron of Ghimes, 
chancellor of Transylvania. In 1620, a Brief of Paul V., 
addressed to the archbishop of Treves, allowed the deacon 
William von Ussboeck to marry. Several more dispensa- 
tions for deacons are cited in the memorial of the prince de 
Vendome to Clement XT. As to subdeacons, we find the 
following dispensations from celibacy. On Jan. IG. 1434, 
Eugenius IV. granted one to Christopher d'Hericourt of 
Amiens, a relative of the king ; see Register of Eugenius IV. 
-Claude Espenceus speaks of one given to a canon of Passau, 
in the sixteenth century. On March 24, 1608, Paul V. 
writes to his nuncio at Cologne, dispensing in the case of 
Herman, of the counts of Salm, " that the many and great 
fiefs of this house may not revert to a heretical branch.'' 
On Sept. 13, 1612, the same Pontiff grants a dispensation 
to marry to John of Braccamonte, a subdeacon of Toledo, 
"because of the gravity and justice of the cause." In 1614, 
he also allowed marriage to Lupo de Mendoza, archdeacon 
(but as yet only subdeacon) of Compostella. Gregory XY. 
dispensed in the case of Francis Ciacco, subdeacon, and 
archdeacon of Toledo ; see Barbosa (B i., on Suljdi'-^cotiatc, 
c. 37. no 28). On Dec. 18, 1625, Pope Urban VIII. allowed 
the subdeacon Leopold, archduke of Austria, to resign his 
many benefices and marry. On July 12, 1644, the same 
Pontiff dispensed in the case of John, count of Kitberg, and 
a subdeacon of Cologne, so that the estates of that family 
might not pass to a Calvinist heir. On Nov 9, 1655, Alex- 
ander VII. dispensed in favor of Everard of Schendelagen. 
of the diocese of Osnabruck ; on Oct. 31, 1656, he did tho 
same for Henry of Savoy, duke of Nemours, a subdeacon 
of Paris ; in both these cases, the perpetuation of extensive 
estates in Citholic hands was the object of the concession. 
On June 30, 1685, Innocent XI. allowed the subdeacon 
Ferdinand Maximilian, of the counts of Ritberg, a canon of 
Cologne, to marry, to prevent his estates from passing to 
the Landgrave of Hssse, a Calvinist, and " to preserve the 


bishopric of Paderborn from probable danger." Dispensa- 
tions to monks, friars, and nuns are numerous. Among the 
most celebrated are the following : In 113i, the death of 
Alphonsus the Warlike having left the kingdom of Aragon 
without an heir, the prince Ramiro, a brother of the late 
king, and a priest and monk, was placed on the throne, and 
was allowed, by Pope Innocent II., to marry. So say all 
old Spanish writers, the Art of Ferifying Dcdes, and Arnold 
Wion, in his JFood of Life, B. iv. In 1177. Alexander III. 
allowed the Benedictine, Nicholas Giustiniani, to marry 
Anna, daughter of the doge Vitale Micheli, in order that 
the great family of the Giustiniani might not die out ; but 
on condition that, when heirs had been born, Nicholas should 
return to his monastery. So it was done ; the wife imi- 
tating the husband, and founding the nunnery of St. Adrian,, 
at Venice. Constance, daughter of king Pioger of Sicily,. 
and a nun, was dispensed from her vows in 1191, by Celes- 
tine III., to marry tlie emperor Henry VI., who was 
crowned as king of Sicily in 1194. Dispensations in cases 
of persons belonging to the Military Pieligious Orders are 
quite numerous. 


The Eight of the Pope to Depose Sovereigns. 

Comparatively speaking, there are very few modern 
authors who do not declaim against the power exercised 
by the Roman Pontiff, during the Middle Ages, in the mat- 
ter of deposing sovereigns. We are told that the Popes 
had no right to judge sovereigns, in temporal matters ; 
furthermore, that such a usurpation was^ pernicious tO' 
societ3\ Nor is the declared enemy of the Holy See the 
only one to inveigh against the deposing power, claimed 
and exercised by so many holy Pontifi's ; many writers, 
whose devotion to the Church is beyond suspicion, have 
been so influenced by national prejudice and by an exag- 
gerated respect for monarchy, as to join in the outcry 


against the " pretensions " of Rome. (1). The prodigious 
power over sovereigns exercised by the Pontiffs of the 
Middle Ages has given rise to many and various theories 
as to its origin, some of which are theological, that is, 
viewing the matter according to the principle of revelation 
and of divine right, while others are historical, that is, 
examining the question with an eye to the public law of the 
olden time. It was only in the beginning of the eighteenth 
century (2j that the theological theories commenced to be 
laid aside. It is not our province to here defend any one 
of them, but a brief exposition of their meaning is neces- 
sary. According to the system of the '' direct divine right," 
the Pope has received, immediatthj from God, full power to 
govern the world, both in spirituals and temporals ; the 
temporal ruler is only an official of the Pontiff, and as he 
receives the temporal sword to be used in conformity with 
the order of God, he may be deprived of it by the Pope, 
when he uses it against that order. Gosselin, whose ex- 
cellent treatise is certainly the most exhaustive, clear, and 
impartial, of all modern works on the subject (3), thinks 
that the first to advocate this theory was John of Salisbury 
(1159). St Thomas a Becket certainly held it (4) ; so did 
the compiler of the Laivs of Siiahia (oj. Henry de Suza 
(d. 1365) even asserts that " since the coming of Jesus 
Christ all the dominion of infidel princes was transferred to 
the Church, and is vested in the Pope as the vicar of Jesus 
Christ, the King of kings." (6). Besides these famous men, 
the principal defenders of the " direct divine right " theory 
were Augustine Triumphus (d. 1328). and Alvarez Pelayo 
(d. 1310j. Another theory of the divine right is that said 
right is only indirect. According to this opinion, the Pope 
has received from God, immediately and directly, no power 
over temporals ; nevertheless, his power over spirituals in- 

(1) Among the eminent authors who have censured the Popes of the Middle Ages, and 
most especially Gregory VII. and his successors, for this reason, may be particularly men- 
tioned Flei'RY, /^(X^-sim, and Bossuet (if, indeed, he wrote the work), in the famous Defence, 
B. i., sect. 1, c. 7 : B. iii., c. 2, 9,10. As to Fleury. see Marchetti'S Criticism, Mczzarel- 
Ll'S Rfn)ark-'<, and ZAffARiA. in Anii-Fehroiim. Introduction, c. 0., no. 11. 

(2) Fenelon was the first Catholic writer to defend the deposing power by the public law 
-of the Middle Ages, in his A nthoritii of the Siit>rfwe Pontiff ; Leibnitz, though with less 
^clearness, had done the same prtK-firn, but especially in his Right of Supremacu- 

(3) Pover of the Poiie. ilvrinij the Midflle Af/e, over SovereUjnH ; Paris, 18.39 

(4) Epistles'. B. i., no. 04, to kimj Henrn TI. 

(5) PKNTKENBERrr. Bori}/ of Gemum Laii\ Preface to the Suahinn Law- 

(6) Commentaries on Decretals, B. iii., tit. 34, T^ou', etc., c. 8, nos. 26, 27. 


eludes, indirectly, a right to manage temporals when the* 
good of religion demands such management ; the Pope can- 
not, ofJinarihj, depose princes, but he can do so in extraor- 
dinary cases, when, that is, the salvation of souls is 
impeded by princes. Bellarmine, the principal advocate 
of this opinion (1), cites in its favor Hugh of St. Victor,. 
Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventura, Duraudus, Peter 
d'Aillv, John Parisiensis, John Torquemada, Gaetano- 
(Cajetan). and many others of note. But Gosselin holds 
that many of these authors defend rather the " directive " 
power, in the sense explained by Fenelon. Gosselin also 
remarks that many others of the authors cited by Bellar- 
mine as advocates of the indirect divine right are really 
defenders of the direct. They try, he says, " to soften down 
what appears extreme in that opinion, and sometimes seem 
to reduce it to an indirect power ; but all of them hold, as 
a fundamental principle, that the Pope receives temporal 
as well as spiritual power, immediately from God, which is 
the verv essence of the opinion of the direct power." Al- 
though Bellarmine's theory was soon adopted by nearly all 
•' ultramontane " theologians (2), many of them so modified 
it as to reduce it to the solution of a case of conscience, 
concerning the binding force of an oath of allegiance. As 
explained by the celebrated cardinal du Perron, this 
modified system of the indirect divine right inculcates that 
the Pope cannot depose a sovereign, but that he can de- 
cide whether the prince has forfeited his throne, because of 
some offence against religion (3). When so presented, 
Bellarmine's theory differs but little from that of the ''di- 
rective" power, defended by Fenelon. The theological 
opinion of the divine right is only an opinion •, it has never 
been defined as an article of faith, nor has any Pontifical or 

(I) When RHliiriiiiiwMlieorv (Si/;))rmc Pi»\ti(f,Ti. v.. c. f)» appeared, it was so bitterly 
CPnsiired by the imrtisiiiw of the direct divine ritrht. th;it Pope Sixlus V. placed tlie work on 
the //If''' r The new edition of tlie liitli.r. contaijiins: the prohibition, was about to be 
i>nblishe(i, when Sixlns V. died : the new Pojie. Trhan VII.. erased the book from the list. 
Saccminu ;/i.v7o/i/ dM/k Nori«7(M'/ ■/<■■•<"•■<. P- v., vol. 1.; Ft'LiCATi. Lite ol ItilUtnnhic, 
B ii e 'i'- D'.'WKIfJN'Y. Chinunlotiivn] mnl liatiiiKil ic Mrmnhf. rent. ,\vii., Nov . linO. 

(") Vkk('K1KA dkCastko, Iloiiiil il(iii<l,h\sh(n), K.-J."); Koncaolia, yotrxtni Alr.ntiidn's 
Dls^s il eent. .xi.; Rianoiii. Pinrrr (mil I'oI irii of tlic (]. 1.. B.i.gS; Pkrkz. 
VaiJkntk, I'uhlir Ldirof .sVai'ii, Madrid, 17.">1, vol. i., c. 14; Mamaciii. Oiiuinn diid 
ylri/i'/i"''"''.", Rome. 174!), vol. iv., e. 2. 

IV Dnrini: tlie session of the States f;eneral of France, in 1614. du Perron thus explained 
hlrtMlind. Sp" D'WRKJNY. /oc. ci7., vol. i.. Get. 27, 11114 ; Litta. T.'ttri-"»i tlir four art i- 
ClCK i>f Hlf^'^J. '»o. <J. 


Conciliarj decree sanctioned it. Indeed, at present at 
least, the Holy See is very far from maintaining either the 
theory of the direct, or that of the indirect divine right. (1). 
Fenelon thus presents his explanation of the conduct of 
the Popes in deposing princes : " An impression began 
gradually to take deep liold of the mind of Catholic 
nations, that the supreme power could be vested in none 
but a Catholic ; and that a condition was implied in the 
tacit contract between princes and people, that the people 
should faithfully obey the prince so long as he remained 
faithful to the Catholic religion. This condition once sup- 
posed, it was the general belief that the oath which bound 
the nation to its prince ceased to be obligatory whenever 
he violated that condition and openly revolted against the 
Catholic religion. In these times it was usual that excom- 
municated persons should be deprived of all communica- 
tion with the faithful, and should liave no intercourse with 
them, unless for the necessaries of life. It is not wonder- 
ful, therefore, that nations so devoted to the Catholic 
religion should shake off the yoke of an excommunicated 
prince. They had become subject to him only on condi- 
tion that he also should be a subject of the Catholic 
religion (2). But a prince whom the Church had excom- 
municated, either because of heresy, or because of an evil 
and impious administration of his power, was no longer 
looked upon as that devout prince to whom the whole 

(1) GossELiv, Ific. cU., Conflrinatorii Eviileuce, no. 8. In our day, says this author, 
the Holy See, " far from favoring the theological opinion of the direct or indirei^t power, 
embraces readily such opportunities as present themselves of showing the slight importance 
it attaches to that opinion, and of openly professing principles which subvert, or at least 
are not easily reconciled with, it." 

(2) This contract will not surprise us, if we bear in mind that in most of the monarchies 
established on the ruins of the old Roman empire the crown was not purely hereditary. 
It was also elective, insdmuch as the sovereign could be chosen among all the princes of 
the reigning family ; quite naturally, therefore, conditions were attached to tlie coronation 
of the elect. As De Maistre remarks, after Voltaire lEs.srti/ i/o r((x/o»)s, vol. iii.. c. 121), 
election necessarily implies a contract between the king and the nation, " so that an elec- 
tive monarch can at all times be called to account and judged .... in the Middle Age, 
elective sovei'eignty had no other tirm stay but that derived from the personal qualities of 
the sovereign ; let no one, therefore, wonder at its having been so frequently attacked, 
transferred, or subverted." (Tlie Pope, B. ii., c. 9i. John de la t'hapelle, secretary of the 
prince deTonti. in his Letters enncerningthc War of the Sixniixli Succession (Basel, 170-3, 
vol. iii., p. 14GI says that " the emperor swears to observe all the articles of a contract. By a 
violation of them, he frees his subjects from their allegiance ; he forfeits every light to the 
empire, because he received the empire only on condition that he observed said articles." 
In the old Capitularies (BAl.tzE. Cap., vol. 1 ) ; in the Lmc of the Fi>iYyot/)s. b. 12. tit. 2, 
no. 2, (CAXcrANi, Laws of the Ba'harians, vol iv.) ; in the Lawsof En<jlati<1 (iliid.) ; and 
in the Preface to the SiiahidJi or (iceitKUi Lair, no. 21---'4 (Sknckknukrc;, Bo'Iii of (lev- 
niau Lair. vol. ii.), we tind it e.xpressly determined that the sfivereign shall be el<^cteil only 
on condition that he professes the f'afhf]lic faith, and swears to defend it. vviili all his 
1)1 wer, agiiin t '^vciy kind of heresy and impiety. 


nation Lad been willing to commit itself. The people 
therefore regarded their oath of allegiance as no longer 
binding. Again, the Canon law had decreed that an excom- 
municated person who did not submit to the Church 
within a certain period, and thus obtain absolution, was to 
be considered, if not a heretic, at least one suspected of 
heresy. Hence princes who contumaciously persisted Id 
A state of excommunication were regarded as impious con- 
temners of the Catholic Church, and. consequently, as 
heretics ; and such were deposed by the nation, for having 
failed to keep their compact with it. The usage, however, 
was so far modified, that the deposition was not effected 
until the Church had been consulted .... The Church 
neither deposed nor instituted lay rulers ; she merely told 
the people, when they consulted her, what they could con- 
scientiously do, in the matter of a contract and an oath. 
This is not a juridical and civil power, but only that 
directive and ordinative jDOwer which Gerson admits." (2j. 
In another place. Fenelon sa^'S that 'the deposing power 
*' consists only in this, that the Pope, as prince of pastors, 
and chief doctor and governor of the Church in all great 
questions of morality, is bor.nd to instruct the people who 
consult him as to the binding force of their oath of 
allegiance. But the Popes do not wish to command 
princes, unless they have acquired the right by a special 
title, or by some peculiar prescription over such princes as 
are feudal vassals of the Apostolic See." (1). The deposing 
power, according to the bishop of Cambra}", was not one 
of temporal jurisdiction, founded on the divine law ; it was, 
however, both a directive power, of divine institution, and 
one of temporal jurisdiction, of human institution. The 
Supreme Pontiff, by divine institution, directs the con- 
sciences of men ; and during the Middle Ages he received, 
by human institution, by the public law of the time, a 
power of temporal jurisdiction. When the Popes pro- 
nounced a sentence of deposition, contends Fc'nelon. they 
did not claim a divine right to do so : they merely declared 
tiiat, by not having complied with the conditions implie 1 

cZ) Lor. cit.. c. : \K (1) Ibid., e. 27. 


in liis election or coronation, a certain prince had forfeited 
his crown. 

While authors may differ as to the origin and grounds of 
the belief, universally held during the Middle Ages, that 
the Pope possessed a right, in certain cases, to depose 
princes, the existence of that belief is indisputable. It is 
admitted by Galileans like Bossuet, Fleury, and Michaud ; 
by such Protestants as Leibnitz, Pfeffel, Hurter, and Voigt ; 
and by that enemy of all religion, Voltaire. Bossuet ob- 
serves that " the obligation of avoiding heretics had made 
such an impression on pious and enlightened men in the 
time of Gregory YIL, that they renounced allegiance to 
Henry lY., when he was excommunicated by that Pope. It 
was the custom in those days to insist on an avoidance of 
intercourse with the excommunicated" (1). Fleury, who 
yields to none in opposition to " ultraraontanism, " admits 
that during the eighth and ninth centuries kings themselves 
acknowledged that the Church could depose them, as ap- 
pears from the petidon presented by Charles the Bald to 
the Council of Savonieres, in 859.(2). The same author says 
that, " more than two hundred years before Gregory VII.. 
Popes had commenced to decide authoritatively on the rights 
of crowns." (3). Michaud says that " the pretensions of the 
Popes, in this matter, were unc[uestionably favored by the 
common belief of the age. Occasional (complaints there 
were of unjust decisions issuing from the tribunal of the 
heads of the Church ; but their right of judging the Chris- 
tian powers was never questioned, and their judgments were 
almost always received by the people without murmur." 
(4). Leibnitz holds that " it is certain that many princes 
were feudatories or vassals of the Eoman empire, or at 
least of the Koman Church ; that some kings and dukes 
were created by the emperor or the Pope ; and that others 
were not anointed kings without, at the same, time doing 
homage to Jesus Christ, to whose Church they promised 
fealty, when they were receiving the unction from the hands 
x>f the bishop ; and this it was that verified the formula 

(1) Defence of Declaration, B. i., sect. 2, c. 24 ; B. iii., c. 4. 

(2) Eccl. vol. xtli., iii.. iio. 10. 

<3) Ihid. (4) Hiittjiyiif the Crumdes, ith edit., vol. iv.. p, 163. 


' Christ reigns, conquers, commands ' (1), for all history- 
attests that most of the Western nations submitted to the 
Church with equal promptitude and j^iety. I am not now 
examining whether these things were by divine right.. 
The facts are that they were done with unanimous consent ; 
that they could most properly be done ; and that they are 
not opposed to the good of Christendom ; for not unfre- 
quently the salvation of souls and the public good are pro- 
moted by the same measure From the strict connec- 
tion that exists between sacred and profane things, it 
resulted that people believed the Pope to have received 
some authority over kings themselves." (2). It is interest- 
ing to notice this great Protestant thinker sighing for the- 
restoration of the Papal supremacy : " My opinion would 
be, to establish, yes, even in Rome, a tribunal (to decide 
controversies between sovereigns) and to make the Pope its 
president, as he really did, in former ages, figure as judge 
between Christian princes And since there is no pro- 
hibition against the planning of romances, what harm can 
there be in suggesting one which would revive the goldeu^ 
age ? " (3). Voltaire observes : " It appears that the- 
princes who had the right of electing the emperor, had also- 
the right of deposing him ; but to admit the Pope to pre- 
side in such decisions was to acknowledge him as the nat- 
ural judge of the emperor and the empire." (4). The same- 
malignant cf.rper asserts that " every prince who desired 
to recover o^ to usurp a territory addressed himself to the 
Pope, as to his master. No new prince dared to call him 
self sovereign, nor would other princes recognize him as- 
such without the consent of the Pope ; and the funda- 
mental principle of the entire history of the Middle Ages 
is that the Popes regarded themselves as lords paramount 
of all kingdoms, without one exception." (5). In the valu- 
able work of Gosselin the reader will find many special 

n) This lepend " Clirii^tvii rrf^vnt. vincit, imperot " was on all the gold coins of France,, 
frotii Louis VI. fyear 1100) to Louis XVL 

,-Ji Hi<ilit of Siiinmincii. p. iii 

(3) Ijittrr ii. t(i M. <lri)i\<int ( iro/Vi-.s. vol. v.). PfefTel, in liis New ConipciKlinm of Ger- 
man Hiftiinj. vol. i., year nn''. iliinks that Pope Gregory VH. could not have artefl townrrt 
Hctiry IV. oihci-wisf Mian lie did. for all his measures, he says, were the logical realization' 
of piitK'iples then universally adirnttwi. 

(IJ l.(ir. cil-, vol. ii., 0. 40. (5) Ihid., vol. iii., c. 44. 


proofs that it was universally admitted, during the Middle 
Ages, that the Roman Pontiff could depose, for certain 
reasons, any monarch in Christendom. We would here, 
however, only draw attention to a few proofs of the existence 
of that belief, with regard to the Holy Roman empire. 
By an examination of these proofs, the reader will be con- 
vinced that the said belief was not introduced by St. 
Gregory VII., and that the Popes of the Middle Ages have 
been falsely accused of usurpation in their conduct toward 
the empire. 

Some of the olden authors speak of the empire as a fief 
of the Holy See, but that expression must not be under- 
stood as implying that the Pontiff held the same rights over 
the empire that he held over those countries, the rulers of 
which were, properly speaking, vassals of the Holy See. 
This is evident from the difference between the oath of 
fidelity taken to the Pontiff by the emperors, and that taken 
by the vassal princes, the kings of Silicy, Hungary, Aragon, 
and in at least one case, of England. The vassals, in their 
oath, plainly declare that they hold their domains by favor 
of the Pontiff; the emperor, in his, recognizes an obliga- 
tion of protecting and defending the Roman See, from which 
alone he derives his title. But that the empire really 
depended on the Holy See, in the sense that the Pontiff 
could elect an emperor (or confirm an election by the 
prince-electors), and that he gave the title, and could take 
it away, is easily proved. During their conflict with Henry 
IV., the Saxon princes, and many other German lords, 
appealed to the Pontiff, and urged that " it is not right to 
tolerate so wicked a prince on the throne, especially as 
Rome has not yet conferred on him the royal dignity ; it 
is proper to restore to Rome her right of appointing kings ; 
it belongs to the Pope and to the city of Rome, in accord 
with the German princes, to select a man whose life and 
wisdom merit such an honor." (1). Godfrey of Viterbo, 
writing about the year 1184, represents the Pope as saying 
to the emperors : " We have given you the empire ; you 

(^) Anolofiii of Henni TV., in URSTiTins, //h/xtriVms irnfrrs of Germany, cited hy 
VoiGT, Grcyorn VII., n. viii. ; and by Bossuet, Drfoicc, B. 1., c. 12. 


have given us little : you are Komau emperors by our 
gift." (1). Arnold, bishop of Lisieux, speaking in a Council 
of Tours in 11G3, says that the emperors, " according to all 
old histories, have no otlier claim to the crown, than the 
will of the Holy Roman Church." (2). Gervase of Tilbury, 
writing to Otho lY., about the year 1211, tells that emperor 
to consider that " Pope Innocent II. gave to Otho's great- 
grandfather that empire which he now holds from Innocent 
III.," and then he proceeds : " The empire is not yours, but 
Christ's ; not yours, but Peter's ; you have received it, not 
from yourself, but from the vicar of Christ, the successor of 
Peter. . . . When you give his own to Peter, you lose 

nothing of your own By favor of the Pope, and not 

of itself, did Eome revive the empire, in the time of Charle- 
magne ; the favor of the Pope gave the empire to a king 
of the Franks ; the favor of the Pope transferred it from the 
Prankish to a German king ; nor does the empire fall to 
him whom Germany chooses, but to him whom the Pope 
appoints." (3). Ludolph, bishop of Bamberg, an eminent 
jurisconsult of the thirteenth century, regards as unques- 
tionable " that after Charlemagne's elevation all the emper- 
ors received the unction and the crown from the Roman 
Church ; from the time of Otho every emperor, at his 

coronation, swore fidelity to that Church that the 

German princes, who had the right to elect a king of the 
Romans, had acknowledged to Pope Innocent III. that the 
Roman Church possessed the right of examining the person 
chosen as king of the Romans, w^lio was afterwards to be 
promoted to the empire." (4). John of Paris, a devoted ad- 
herent of Philip the Fair, and hence very averse to anything 
like pretension on the part of Rome, says : " To the objec- 
tion that the Pope can depose the emperor, I reply that it 
is true : the Pope deposes him whom he has made — the 
emperor receives his fief from the Pope." (5). But let us 

(1) Univ. Chron., Paschal II , la Pistorius, GcnnoH Wrlterx, vol. ii. 

(2) Labbf, Cnnncilx, vol. x. 

(3) liiiiitrial lU-ctratiiiiis. Tills work was probably sucrpested to Gervase, remarks 
Go.sselln. by .John of Salisburv's I'ubirrntinis. n\si> writion for the lnstvtiotioii of iirinres. 
It Is worthy of note, (•(iiitiiiucs (iosscliii. that ttu-.-if writers, thoiiKh ililTcriiijr in thrir ex- 
planation of the siihli'ctinii of ilic power of jirinces to that of the IVme. both a.ssert the 
Keiieral belief in iliiii siilijeriion. See l.iiHMTZ, U'riterx on Binvsuick Affair!<, vol. 1. 

(I) y.nil i)f tilt (ui mail I'liiins, Strasburn, 15(»8. 
'5) Rojialand Papal Power, c. 16. 


Lear the emperors themselves. Louis II., writing, iu 871, 
to his rival, Basil, says of his own predecessors that " not 
one of them assumed the imperial title, until, for that end, 
he had been anointed by the Koman Pontiff." (1). Lo- 
thaire I. writes to his father, Louis the Compliant, " I have 
received from the Supreme Pontiff, before the altar, and 
before the body of St. Peter, the prince of the Apostles, as 
you desired, the blessing, honor, and title of the imperial 
office ; also the crown, and the sword, for the defence of 
the Church." (2). Muratori declares that, in the immense 
multitude of charters and diplomas which he had examined, 
he could not discover one instance of the title of emperor 
having been given to a king of Germany before his cor- 
oi^ation by the Pope. (3). 

Let us now read the oath of fidelity to the Popes taken by 
the emperors. In two copies of the Sacramentary of St. 
Gregory, preserved in the Vati.can and Orbonian libraries 
at Rome, and proved by Muratori (4) to be of a date pi-ior 
to the death of Pope Leo III. (816), the oath is given as 
follows : " I, N., king of the Eomans, by the grace of God, 
to be emperor, promise and swear, before God and the 
blessed Peter, that hereafter I shall be the protector and 
defender of the Supreme Pontiff and of the Holy Roman 
Church, in all their necessities and interests, guarding and 
preserving their possessions, honors, and rights, as far 
as the divine assistance will enable me, with all my knowl- 
edge and power, in pure and sincere fidelity. So help me 
God, and these holy gospels of God." (5). Before Otho I. 
even entered Italy, Pope John XII. required the legates to 
administer to him, before a portion of the true cross, the 
following oath, which was afterwards inserted (6) in the 
Bofhj of Cation Law : " I, king Otho, do promise and swear 
to the lord John, Supreme Pontiff, by the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Ghost, and by this wood of the life-giving 
cross, and by these relics of the saints, that if, God per- 

(\) Baroxio, year 871, no. 59. Cenni, Monuments, diss. 6, do. 19. 

(2) Cknni, Ujc, cit., no. 24. Mabillon, Acts of the Benedictines, cent. iv. 

(.3) Annals of Ttahi. yfars 1433, 1493, 1.519. 

i4) Ancient Romnn Li7ury.i/, vol. i., dissert, on Lituraical Matters, c. 6. 

(.5) MrRATORI, l7;iV/., vol. ii. 

(6) Decree, p. 1., dist. 53, c. .33, Tibi Domino. 


mittiug, I arrive at Rome, I shall with all my power exalt 
the Holy Roman Church, and thee its ruler ; aud I shall 
never injure, by my will, consent, advice, or persuasion, thy 
life, or members, or position ; and I shall not make in Rome, 
in anything regarding thee or the Romans, any decree or 
law Avithout thy counsel ; and I shall restore to thee what- 
ever part of the territory of St. Peter comes into our power : 
and whomever I shall place over the kingdom of Italy, I 
shall cause to swear that he will be thy ally in defending 
the territory of St. Peter, with all his might. So help me, 
etc." (1). The terms of this oath, says Gosselin, may have 
varied with time, but it was certainly taken by the emperors 
at their coronation, during the whole course of. the Middle 
Ages. Having now shown that, contrary to the assertions 
of Sismondi, Michaud, Voigt, Guizot, and certain other 
modern authors, Gregory YII. was not the first Pontiff to 
regard the empire as a dependency of the Holy See, we 
proceed to defend the legitimacy of the deposing power, as 
exercised by the Popes of the Middle Ages. 

We shall not consider the question of the Pontiff's divine 
right in the premises, whether that right be regarded as 
direct or indirect. It is not within our pro\ance, as his- 
torians, to do more than indicate that such a right has been 
defended by certain grave theologians, if not by the whole 
power of the schools. But we do contend that, when the 
Popes of the Middle Ages deposed sovereigns, they acted 
in accordance with the constitutional law of the day. (2) If 

(1) Baron 10, year OCO. no. r>. 

(2) With rejjaid to the mwiniiiKof what is called constitutional or public law, seeSUAREZ, 
Or' LnHv. Ill the I'lcfacc to his I'lililir L(ni\ .loliu Doitiat, whom Cantu styles, "by ex- 
cellence, a philosopliical .iurisconsult," says: " With repanl to ihat pari of the order of 
society whicli I'efers solely to persons uniteil in one state under the same government, tlie 
matters arisiiiir from thisOrder are of two kinds, whicli it is necessary to distinjjfuish. The 
first consists of those which relate to the >reiieral order of the state : such as those that re- 
late to troverniiieiil, the power of the authorities, the oliedience due to them. etc. 'the 
second lonsistsof those which reyard the relations hetween private indi\iduals. their various 
olilijrations to eacli other, whether with or without a contract. The llrst kind of matters, 
havinir reference to the ireneral order of a state, is the object of rniistitiitidinil law; and 
the second, which refranls only what passes between private persons, is the oliject of that 
other class of laws, which, for that reason, is called pririiti law Of these two kinds of 

aw there are two sorts, adiiiitte<l in piai-lice by all the nations of the earth. One consists 
of those which helonir to the natural law; the other, of laws iieciiliar to each country; 
such, for instance, as customs saiKtioned by lonj: usaKi', and laws such as the reipnimr 
power iiiiiy enact." In his i'iril Liiir. prelim., tit. 1, sect. 1. nos. ■,', .'i, 1. 10, 11, the same 
aiithi>r explains how these laws may be known : " Laws or rules are of two kinds ; one tH»- 
lonirs to the natuial. and the other to iiositlve. otherwise called human oreonveiitional law, 
because enacted by men. Hiiiiian laws are of two sorts; the tlrsi. such as from their very 
insfilntioii w(Te wrilten and proiiiiilL'Mied bv competent authority, as, for instance, tlie 
ordinances of the kiiiirs of Kiance ; anil tlie other, tbose orijrJii cannot be traced, but 
which ari> found siinctloned by the iiniversiil apiirobation and immemorial usape of th« 
people. Thcie latter rules, or laws, are called cusionis. Custoiiis derive their ohliRatory 


the public law of the time autLorized the deposing power 
of the Popes, that powei* was legitimate. Now it is certain 
that, during the Middle Ages, it was stipulated in the 
election of all sovereigns, by the constitution of their states, 
that an heretical prince, or one who rebelled against the 
Church, incurred deposition. In proving that such was the 
public law of the time, we will not insist, with de Maistre, 
that the existence of this law is sufficiently shown by the 
fact of the universal belief of the day (1) ; we shall furnish 
<lirect proofs, founded on the constitutional law of Spain, 
of England, of Sicily, of France, and above all, of the Holy 
Homan empire. Firstly, then, in regard to Spain, the 
reader of Mariana, Ferreras, and Valiente will find that, 
as far back as the seventh century, the general assemblies 
of the nation insisted upon the Catholicism of the monarch. 
In the Sixth Council of Toledo (638), it was decreed that 
" hereafter, no king shall mount the throne until he has 
sworn, among other conditions, not to tolerate heretics in 
bis states." The Jesuit Charenton, in his notes on Mari- 
ana, says that " it is not surprising that the Councils 
imposed new laws and conditions on the Gothic kings. All 
the grandees of the kingdom assisted at these Councils, for 
they were a kind of States-General. The bishop, it is true, 
had the exclusive management of ecclesiastical matters, 
but in civil affairs the barons, as well as the prelates, had 
a voice." Valiente tells us that the obligation of main- 
taining religious unity in Spain remained in force for all 
Spanish monarchs, and they were obliged to accept it at 
their coronation until the fifteenth century ; and then it 
was no longer expressly mentioned, because it was no longer 
necessary for thoroughly Catholic Spain (1). 

force from the people who have received them, whereas, in republics, the authority i.s 
vested in the people. But in monarchical states customs are not established, and cannot 
acquire the force of law, unless with the assent of the sovereign. Thus, in France, the 
kings have fixed and drawn up in writing, and confirmed as laws, all the customs, preserv- 
ing for each province the laws which it had alreadv possessed, either from the ancient 
consent of the people who instituted them, or of the princes who governed them." In sect. 
2, no. 19, ihuL, Domat concludes from the above principles, that " if the difficulties arising in 
the interpretation of a law or custom are found explained by an ancient usage, which fixes 
its sense, and which is confirmed by an uninterrupted succession of uniform decisions, we 
must adhere to the sense as decided bv custom, which is the best interpreter of laws." 

(1) Generally speaking, savs Gosselin, the sole fact of the universal belief will establish 
the existence of the law iGROTius, Lrrw of War, B. ii., c. 4. Puffkndorf, Lair i if 
Nature and Nationx, B. iv., c. 13, § 8 ; B. vii., c. 7, § 4 ; c. 8, § 9.), •' but when there is ques- 
tion of proving ;i point of constitutional law in favor of the Holy See, it is not enough, in 

the opinion oflhe enemies of the Church, to appeal to prescription we must ni-OTfi, 

-.besitlps. that thi^ Church had from the beginning, possessed this power legitimately." 

(U i'litjUc Law of ,Si)Uin. vol. ii., c. T, no. 18. 


Secondly, as regards England, the Lmus of St. Edivard, 
wbich were solemnl}' confirmed by the Conqueror in 1069. 
declare, in art. XIV., that " the king, as he holds here be- 
low the place of the Supreme King, is appointed to rule an 
earthly kingdom and th(3 Lord's people, and above all, to 
venerate His Church, to defend her from those who w^ould 
injure her, to expel from her all evil-doers, and to utterly 
destroy them. Unless he does these things, the name of 
king shall not cling to him ; yea, as Pope John declares, he 
shall lose the name of king." (1). And then, after mentioning 
the duties of a king, the same article says : " The king, in 
his own person, placing his hand on the holy Gospels, and 
on the sacred relics, shall, in the presence of the priests and 
of his kingdom, swear to observe all those things, before 
he is crowned by the archbishops and bishops," In the 
sixteenth century, the English Catholics confidently cited^ 
against Elizabeth's claim to the throne, the ancient laws of 
England, which expressly excluded a heretic from the 
throne. (2). Elizabeth herself, though she affected to ridi- 
cule the Pof)e's sentence against her pretensions, tried every 
means to procure its revocation, and even sought the em- 
peror Maximilian's intercession. Pope Pius V. asked the 
emperor, in return, " whether Elizabeth deemed the sen- 
tence valid or invalid. If valid, why did she not seek a 
reconciliation with the Holy See ? If invalid, why did she 
wish it to be revoked ? " (3). Thirdly, in regard to the Two 
Sicilies, there can be no question, for from the time of 
Charlemagne, the Holy See was suzerain of nearly all the 
peninsular part of this kingdom (4) ; Adrian I. having 
received, in 773, from Charlemagne, the sovereignty of the 
duchy of Benevento, which then included all of the penin- 
sular domain, excepting the duchy of Naples and Gaeta. 
During the Pontificate of John VIII. (872-882), whether. 

(1) WIIKINS, AiHihi-fin.fiin Imhs, London. 17-.21. It is well lierc to observe tint, acconi- 
intrtottie liestcrltics, these laws were, properly speaklnir, not St. Edward's own. init a coni- 
piliUion. with aiiiendnients, of old Saxou laws, reaching' back to the year 0(«, iu the reiKU 

^ C^) See'li I KN A Trvf. Siincere, nn(l Mixhut A n.finr of Catholics (o the KinilMi Piise- 
<uUir.-< ViH-i r y^> and tlic same fanlilial's Aihi'tniitimi to the I^olnlitii <i ml Profile of 
Kii'rin'iii'i ami ]veUni<K .Antwerp, l.'iss. Also, Jn. i.kman, ro»(fVn)i(r ..»i the Xert Sue- 
(■<.«l<.)i In tlir <'r<iini of /•:»(/'"'"'■ '•''■'•^' V- -' <'■ ~- 

(Si LlN(iAIU), //ix'o'l/ "f Kili/Zodi/. vol. vi.. c. 1. , o . . ^ 

(41 T'ouciA Hiytorii of Die Teiniiorat fhiwiiiion of the A iiDmiltC See in the T\P€ 
Sicilic*-', Second Edit., Rome, 1T8'.I. Dixxert. Prelim., no. 18. 


as the anti-Papal historian, Giannone, admits (1), by effect 
of another donation of Charlemagne, or by the voluntary 
submission of the people, Gaeta also became a fief of the 
Holy See. Under St. Leo IX. (1049-1054), the Holy See- 
received from the emperor Henry III. a cession of the high 
dominion which the successors of Charlemagne had re- 
tained, subject to the Pontiffs rights, over these and the 
other Neapolitan territories ; and we find the same Pope 
investing count Humfred with the sovereignty of the island 
of Sicily. From this period, down to our own day, the 
kings of Naples and of Sicily (or of the Two Sicilies) 
whether they were Normans, Suabians, Angevines, Ara- 
gonese, Austrians, Bourbons, have always solemnly recog- 
nized the suzerainty of the Holy See. (2). The following- 
oath of fealty, taken by Robert Guiscard to Pope Nicholas 
II.,' in 1059, will sufficiently show the relations subsisting 
between the Roman Pontiffs and this kingdom. " I. Robert,, 
by the grace of God and of St. Peter, duke of the Puglia 
and of Calabria, and by the same protection, duke-elect of 
Sicily, will henceforth be faithful to the Holy Roman 
Church, and to thee, my liege Lord. Nicholas. I shall take 
no part in any act or scheme against thy life, limbs, or lib- 
erty ; uor shall I knowingly disclose, to thine injury, the 
plans which thou raayest entrust to me, and which thou for- 
biddest me to reveal. In all places, and with all ray power, 
I shall aid the Holy Roman Church against all men, to hold 
and to preserve the property and domain of St. Peter ; I 
shall assist thee to preserve in security and honor the 
Roman Popedom, the land, and the principality of St. 
Peter ; I shall not try to invade, to acquire, or to seize, 
without certain license from thee or from thy successors in 
the dignity of St. Peter, any possessions other than tho^e- 
which thou or thy successors may grant to me. I shall try, 
in good faith, to pay annually to the Roman Church the 
tribute fixed for the lands of St. Peter which I hold or may 
hold. I shall place in thy power all the churches in my 
dominions, together with their possessions ; and I shall de- 

ri) Civil History of the kin(i(l'>m of NapJfn, Naples, 1724, B. vi., c. 1. 

iJj For dates of this solemn recognition, and payment of tribute, see the cited work of 
Borgia, p. xvi. When Borgia wrote (1789 , this mark of vassalage had been exhibited tO' 
the Roman Pontiffs fifty-one times. 


fend tliem in tbeiv fidelity to the Holy Eoraan Cburch. 
Shouldst tliou die, or any of thy successors die, before me, 
I shall help toward the election and installation of a suc- 
cessor worthy of St. Petfr. according as I shall be advised 
by the best cardinals, and by the Roman clergy and people. 
All the above things I shall observe to thee and to the 
Holy Roman Church, and I shall observe this fidelity to thy 
•mccessors in the dignity of St. Peter, who may confirm to 
'ne the investitures thou hast granted to me. So help me, 

3tC." (1). 

Fourthly, in regard to France, as far back as the sixth 
century, we find French kings subjecting themselves to be 
deposed, in certain cases, by the authority of the Pope. 
At the request of queen Brunehilda, St. Gregory the Great, 
when granting certain privileges to the monasteries and 
hospital of Autun, decreed that "if any person, king, 
bishop, judge, or any secular whosoever, knowing this our 
constitution, shall try to violate it, he forfeits the dignity 
of his power and honor." (2). But whatever may have been 
the custom of France under her first race of kings, it is 
certain that under the Carlovingians the king was amenable 
to a national Council, an assembly which was at once 
ecclesiastical and political— a kind of States-General. (3). 
When Loth aire had been deposed, in 842, by the Council 
of Aix-la-Chapelle, the bishops declared that his brothers 
could not take possession of his states unless they promised 
to rule according to the law of God ; and when the princes 
so promised, the president said : " Then, by the divine 
authority, we advise, exhort, and command, that you receive 
tlie kingdom and rule it according to the will of God." (4). 
Charles the Bald, having been deposed by the Council of 
Attigny, in 857, presented a petition to the Council of 
Savonieres, in 859. in which he thus admitted the compe- 
tency of the ecclesiastical tribunal : " By no one could I 
be cast down from the height of royal power, without at 
least the consideration and judgment of the bishops, by 

(1) Baronio, years 1050, no 70. ^ ,, (2) EpMle.-^, B. xiii . ep >». 9, 10. 

(31 TiioMASSiN, OhI (DKl Nnr DixcipUne nf fhv ( hnrrh, vol. ii., B. in., c. 44-5.. 
llVAiSAKiKOriiiiH aiiil Priiiiriiisrif Frevvh LeoiiiUitiiiu, \i. y..^' i ,„k. „ ,i - 

*4> N'lTHARn, DiiffTVsorixtf the Smix i>f Lmiis thr Cinnpliaiit. V.. iv. in Lnhbe. vol. .., I. .i.,,!! of F.-.i.kc, vol. i. Fi.K.rRY. vol. x., B. xlviil . no. 1 1 : B .x.i.-c , no. -1 .. 


■wliose ministry I was consecrated king, and who are called 
thrones of God, in whom God sits, and through whom H(^ 
pronounces His judgments." (1). 

And now, fifthly, for the public law of the empire. W<'- 
have already seen, when treating of the revival of the 
empire under Charlerhagne, that this prince owed his tith^ 
to the Ilcman Pontiff, the representative and guardian of 
the Roman people. (2). Again, by the nomination and coi- 
onation of Charlemagne, the Pope did not renounce his 
right in future elections, as is proved by the exercise of that 
right during the Carloviugian period, and hj the transfer 
of the empire, at the will of the Pontifl" (John XTL), from 
the Franks to the Germans. These facts would, of them- 
selves, demonstrate the sp;ecial dependence of the empire 
on the Pontiff, but that dependence, and the emperor's 
liability, in certain cases, to deposition by the Pope, are 
•clearly asserted in the ancient monuments of German law. 
In the Suahian Code, compiled in the thirteenth century, 
irom the ancient laws and customs of the empire (3), we 
read : " The Church sword is given to the Pope, that he 
may pronounce judgment at the proper times, seated on a 
white horse (then a sign of pre-eminence). The emperor 
must hold the stirrup, lest the saddle should shift. (4). 
Thus it is indicated that whoever resists the Pope, and 
who is not induced to obey by an ecclesiastical judgment, 
is to be compelled by the emperor and other lay princes 
and judges, by proscription." (5). Concerning the election 
• of an emperor we read : " The election of the kwg belongs 

■by right to the Germans when he is consecrated, and 

•crowned, and placed on the throne at Aix-la-Chapelle, with 
the consent of the electors, then he receives the power and 

(1) Daniel, ihid. Bossuet, Defence, B. il., c- 43. 

(•2) It is worthy of retiiark that, ia modern times, when the emperors were no longer 
•crowned at Rome, the Popes did not style them emperors, hut emperors-elect. See two 
Briefs of Pius VI. to Leopold U. and Francis II. in Briefs of Pius Vf., Paris, 1798, p. 5.57, 
561. GossiiLiN, p. 2, c. 3, § 2. 

(3) So says the title : " Here begins the Rook of Imperial Provincial Law, established and 
ordained by the Roman emperors and electors, containing all the common articles of law - 
whatever is to be done or omitted. . . . for the sake of general peace, established by the 
Holy Empi'e, and seriously confirmed in anci^-nt times." Pri'amhle tothf German or 
Suahian Law, in Senckenbergs Bodti nf German Lan\ vol. ii. For the opinion of eminent 
jurists as to the high authority of this Code, see Senckenberg, in Freamhle. § 20, and 
Eichorn, in his Hifittrryof the German Empire and Laws, vol. ii. 

(4) This custom wa.s certainly older than the ninth century, for it is mentioned in copies 
-of the Nacrame/itarj/of St. Gregory in use at that time. See Muratori's .4(ici6)i( R(jni. 
L't., vol. i'. 

(5i t-reumble, 21-24. 


name of Idng ; but when the Pope has consecrated and.-" 
crowned him, then he has the full power of the empire, audi 

the name of emperor Deformed, leprous, excommu 

nicated, proscribed, or heretical persons cannot be chosen. 
by the princes ; but if they should choose such a person, the 
other princes have a right to reject him, in the place where- 
the imperial court assembles." (1). As to the excommunica- 
tion of an emperor, it is decreed that '• Only the Pope can 
put the emperor under the ban ; but he should do this only 
for three causes : firstly, if the emperor doubts as to ortho- 
doxy of faith ; secondly, if he leaves his wife ; thirdly, if 
he injures churches." (2). Concerning heretical princes, it. 
is established that " any lay prince who does not punish 
heretics, and who defends and protects them, shall be ex- 
communicated by ecclesiastical judgment; and if, within a 
year, he does not amend, the bishop who excommunicated 
him shall denounce his crime to the Pope, and shall state, 
at the same time, for how long a period he has, because of 
that crime, persevered in the state of excommunication. 
This having been done, the Pope should deprive him of his 
princely office, and of all his honors. Such shall be the 
judgment, in the cases of magnates, as well as in those of 
the lowly ; for we read that Pope Innocent deposed the 
emperor Otho (IV.; from his throne, for other crimes. 
This the Popes do, of right, for God said to Jeremiah : ' I 
have appointed thee judge over every man and every king- 
dom.' ' (3). 

It is evident, therefore, that, whether or not the deposing 
power be of divine right, the Poutifis of the Middle Ages 
were guilty of no usurpation, and of no presumption, when 
they exercised it. As to the practical results of this exercise, 
if the reader will refer to the valuable work of Gosselin (4). 
he will be convinced, firstly, that the Popes were always 

(1) C 18, nos. 1, 2, 3 ; c. 22., nos. 8, 9. 

%) v'v,\ Gosselin i.n.perlv infers from those provisions of tin- ancient (iiTnian law that 
" 1 flearlv follows that the Papal sentenc- of .l.'positi.m .leprive.l an ';"i|"'';"r. not only of 
Ihe imperial title, but of his rank an.i of his lu.nors, ami consetiuenllv, of the title and 
r Viu" klii/or (;..rtnanv .... ihese iirovisions will, .loubtless. surprise many readers, 
am it is lo he re^relted that the ma.lority uf mo.lern writers wh,. have treated of the history 
is period were iirnorant of this aneient jnnspnidenee. which throws so n.ilch lit'ht 
on the history of the lamentable cuuUicls which so louj? divided the priesthood and th.' 
empire." L«c. cit., p. 11.. c. -3, S 3 

(4) P. il., C 4. 


inoderate in the use of their power ; secondly, that monar- 
chical sycophants have falsely accused the Holy See of 
degrading, by their treatment of sovereigns, the royal au- 
thority in the eyes of the people ; thirdly, that the blame 
for the wars caused by the collision of the spiritual and 
temporal power is to be assigned, not to the Pontifts, but to 
rebellious and tyrannical, and sometimes heretical, kings. 
As to the real advantages accruing to society from the ex- 
ercise of the deposing power, namely, the preservation of 
religion, morality, and public tranquillity, they are admitted 
by many Protestant, and even infidel, authors of eminence, 
who have been curious enough, cind brave enough, to study 
the matter. Coquerel, (Athanase) than whom modern 
French Protestantism has produced no more brilliant light, 
-admits that " the Papal power, by disposing of crowns, pre- 
vented the atrocities of despotism ; hence, in those dark 
ages, we see no instance of a tyrant like Domitian ; a Tib- 
erius could not exist ; Rome would have crushed him. 
Great despotisms develop when kings believe that there is 
no power above them ; then it is that the intoxication of 
unlimited power engenders the most atrocious enormities." 
(1). Aucillon (John), one of the best of Protestant histo- 
rians, confesses that " during the Middle Ages, when there 
Avas no social order, the Papacy alone perhaps saved Europe 
from utter barbarism. It created bonds of connection be- 
tween the most distant nations ; it was a common centre, a 
rallying point for isolated states. It was a supreme tribu- 
nal, established in the midst of universal anarchy, and its 
•decrees were sometimes as respectable as they were re- 
spected. It prevented and arrested the despotism of the 
emperors, and diminished the inconveniences of the feudal 
system." (2). Even Voltaire is compelled to acknowledge 
that "The interests of the human race required some check 
on sovereigns, and some protection for the life of the sub- 
ject : this religious check could, by universal consent, be 
placed in the hands of the Pope. This chief Pontiff, by 
never meddling in temporal quarrels except to appease them, 

(1) Essay on the History of Christianity, p. 75. 

■■•i) Tnhlenu nf the RevohitiDns of tltf. Political System of Europe after the 1'ith Cen- 
.tury, Berlin, ISOi, vol. i-. Introd., )>. 133, 157. 


by admonishing kings and nations of their duties, by re- 
proving crimes, by inflicting excommunications on great 
offences only, would have been regarded as the image of 
God on earth." (1). 


The Heresy of Berengarius. 

Berengarius was born at Tours, toward the close of the- 
tenth century. His education was received in the schools- 
of Chartres, and his principal master was the holy and 
learned Fulbert. (2). Adelmann, who was one of his com- 
panions, informs us that, while yet a youth, Berengarius. 
manifested a petulant spirit and a craving for novelties,, 
which frequently impelled Fulbert to warn him not to de- 
sert the beaten path, namely, the Apostolic faith and the 
teachings of the Fathers. (3). According to William of Mal- 
mesbury (4) and Henry Knighton (5), St. Fulbert, when on 
his death-bed, prophesied that Berengarius would destroy 
many souls, and ordered him to be expelled from the schools 
of Chartres. On the death of Fulbert, the future heresiarch 
returned to Tours, became rector of the academy of St. 
Martin, and soon acquired a great reputation as a profes- 
sor. Certain manuscripts of the abbey of Lorris, Polydore 
Virgil, and other wi'iters, accuse Berengarius of having; 
been addicted to necromancy, but Alexandre observes that 
none ot his contemporaries make such a charge. Before 
the year 10-47 he was received into the diocese of Angers,. 
and was soon made archdeacon and treasurer. In 10-47 he 
began to propagate his errors on the Holy Eucharist, and 
many others. He condemned infant baptism, and asserted 
that promiscuous intercourse between the sexes was licit. 
Guitmund of Aversa, a contemporary, thus describes his- 

(1) K.s.x(ii/ oil <ii)tir<t\ Ilistnni, vol. ii., r. (!0. 

(et Gcrson ii.sscrts tliiit Hcrcnirnrins was ii disciple of Abt'lnrd. hut he evidently cou- 
fdimdslhi' SiicriiiiiiMilnriaii willi tlu' nt'ii'inriiriiis of Poitiers, who wrotv an Mfiodif/// for.- 
tluit LTcat imforliKiiilc. Alx'lanl siirviveil tlic heresian-h nianv years. 

(.'}! /•,')ii-'N< ^1 Kti I iifidi'iii^' 

(41 Knnlixli l\'i)i<l^. !!■ ill. 

(.")> EnuUf'lt AJJniiKdvwn to 1305, B. I., c. 1.3. 


error regarding the Keal Presence : " He denied that the 
Eucharist is truly and substantially the Body and Blood 
of the Lord ; and asserted that it is such only in name, in- 
asmuch as it is a sign and significative figure of the Lord's 
Bod}' and Blood." From the Formula of Faith which Ber- 
engarius subscribed in the Roman Synod of 1079, we find 
that he had denied " that the bread and wine are substan- 
tially converted, by the mystery of holy prayer and the 
words of our Redeemer, into the true and very Flesh and 
Blood of Christ." Hugh, bishop of Langres, writing to 
Berengarius, says : " You assert that the Body of Christ 
is in this Sacrament in such manner that the nature afid 
essence of the bread and wine are not changed." Some 
have attributed to Berengarius the theory that in the 
Eucharist there are both the substance of the Sacred Body 
and Blood, and the substance of bread and wine ; that 
Christ's Body and Blood are hidden in the bread and wine. 
Certain of his followers taught this doctrine ; not so Beren- 
garius. Guitmund writes : " All those who err in this 
matter do not follow the same path of error. All the 
Berengarians agree that the bread and wine are not essen- 
tially-changed ; but some assert that there is nothing 
whatever of Christ's Body and Blood, that the Sacrament 
is only a type and a figure ; others, yielding somewhat to 
the teaching of the Church, without abandoning their 
error, say that the Body and Blood of Christ are, in effect, 
contained in the Sacrament, but hidden in a kind of irnpana- 
tion, for our reception. These latter pretend that their 
theory is the more subtle opinion of Berengarius himself. 
Others, again, hold that the bread and wine are partly 
changed. Some believe that they are entirely changed, but 
that, if an unworthy communicant presents himself, the 
Body and Blood of Christ resume the nature of bread and 
wine." (1). 

Berengarius soon abandoned his errors on infant-baptism 
and the advisability of fornication (2), and bent all his 
energies to disseminate that on the Eucharist. Some have 
thought (3) that Berengarius imbibed his heresy from the 

■ ■1 /Ui'tiih-f :}i ir)i(,i(H Ivy. B i. (2) Iftid. 

(3) Pai'UUUS, liislioijs i>f the City, B. iv. 


work of the Jew, Joseph Albo, entitled Foundations of the 
Mosaic Law, but Alexandre observes that Albo wrote in 
1425, nearly four hundred years .after Berengarius, and 
that it is more likely that Scotus Erigena, to whose works 
the heresiarch was much addicted, is responsible for Sac- 
rameutarianism. Berengarius tried hard to gain the ad- 
herence of Lanfranc, then a simple monk, but of great 
reputation for learning ; but he labored in vain, and the 
great Lanfranc was probably the most energetic of all the 
defenders of the ancient doctrine. Among the writers 
whom God raised up to combat Sacramentarianism during 
the life-time of its author, we may mention, besides Lan- 
franc, the heresiarch's fellow-student, Adelmann, bishop 
of Brescia : Hugh, bishop of Langres : Guitmund. bishop 
of Aversa ; Durand, abbot of Troars ; while after his death 
the cause of truth was admirably defended by Alger, a monk 
of Cluny. (1). It is an immortal glory of th*^ Benedictine 
order, observes Alexandre, that it gave to the Church these 
four defenders of the Eucharistic doctrine. Although there 
are some minor errors (2) in the work of Alger, Erasmus 
thought it worth all the polemical treatises which appeared 
on the same subject in the sixteenth century. Berengarius 
admitted that he could not answer its arguments. 

Mosheim (3), with his usual proclivity to adulation of all 
heretics, asserts that Berengarius was renowned for his 
learning and for personal sanctity. His holiness could not 
have been great, as he thrice perjured himself. As for his 
learning, it is not manifested by any of his writings, and 
Ouitmund tells us that " he could not attain the secrets of 
the deeper philosophy ; he was not sufficiently acute." 
He acquired a reputation in France, because at that period 
"• the liberal arts had become, in France, nearly obsolete." 
<4). Mosheim also contends that, before the time of Beren- 

(\) n(H\\i and Rlood of Ihr J.ord. . ^ .. , 

(2) \ lifer 11 irrees wiili Ciiiiinuinl tlmt the Sacramental species cannot l)e corrupted : that 
such corruption N onlv iipimn-iit. Cod so pi^nilttlnn. In order to punish tli.' nejrici-t of the 
Driest or t' try mir fiilih ■ iliai Hk- Bodv of ilif Lord is lakcu up to heav.Mi when rorruption 
sci'iiis to attack the siH'ci.'s. lie als<i altritMitcs ttic crior of the .s7« rcordi/i.sf.y to the 
(irceks whil.* tlu'v were inuoeeiit of It. He asserts that chrlsi [irescrlbed that the Eucha- 
rist shoulil he eonseerated in unleavened which is not true 

m Ciiit. 11, ;». -J, <■. ;!, S Vi. 

(4) liiidu txnil lUoutl Jif t)if Lord, B. 1. 


garius, the Church liacl not decided anything as to the 
manner :"n which Our Lord is present in the Eucharist ; that 
each person believed as he thought proper. We have 
already shown, in our chapter on the Eucharistic doctrine 
dn the tenth century, the absurdity of this assertion. 
Mosheim insinuates that Pope St. Gregory VII. sympa- 
thized with the heresy of the Sacramentarians. The reader 
■will judge of the truth of this charge when he observes the 
conduct of Gregory in the Synods held to condemn that 
heresy. The first Council called in this matter was held at 
Home, in 1050, under the presidency of Pope Leo IX. It 
was occasioned by the letter written to Laufrauc by the 
heresiarch, reproving him for condemning Scotus Erigena, 
:and giving a summary of his own views. Some had accused 
Xanfranc of sympathy with these views, and the holy Bene- 
dictine wished to clear himself of the aspersion. In this 
Synod the epistle of Berengarius was read and condemned; 
he was excommunicated, and Lanfranc was vindicated. 
The Pontiff then ordered another, and fuller Synod, to meet 
at Vercelli. This body was convened in September of the 
same year, 1050, and the same Pontiff, Leo IX., presided 
■over it. There appeared two clerics as representatives of 
Berengarius. His heresy was again condemned, as well as 
the book (supposed to be) by Scotus Erigena, on the Eu- 
charist, which the heresiarch had alleged in justification of 
his own error. As Berengarius proved contumacious, a 
Synod of French bishops met at Paris, in the month of 
November, 1050, and, in the presence of king Henry L, the 
decree of Vercelli was solemnly received. After this Synod 
cf Paris the heresiarch wrote to the abbot Richard, asking 
that i^relate to obtain for him from the king some compen- 
sation for the injury done to him by the bishops, and saying 
that he was ready, at any time, to prove to the satisfaction 
of his majesty that Scotus and himself had been unjustly 
condemned. " The king should remember," he said, " that 
Scotus had written his book by command of, and at the 

expense of, the great Charles (the Bald) that hence 

the king ought to vindicate him against the calumnies of 
men now living, unless he (Henry) wished to show himself 


an unworthy successor of that magnificent monarch." In 
the year 1055, Pope Victor II. again condemned Bereiigarius 
in a Synod hekl at Florence ; and in the same year, a Council 
was held at Tours for the same purpose, presided over by 
the subdeacon Hildebrand, then Pontifical legate in France. 
In this latter assembly Berengarius made and signed an 
abjuration of his heresy, and solemnly swore never to teach 
it again. This having been done, he was benignly received 
by Hildebrand. The conversion of the heresiarch was 
short-lived, and in 1059 Pope Nicholas II. held a Synod at 
Rome, composed of 113 bishops; and here Lanfranc so 
pressed Berengarius with argument, that he again abjured 
his doctrine, and threw his own and the book of Scotus into 
the flames. He also read and signed the following Profes- 
sion of Faifh • " I, Berengarius, an unworthy deacon of the 
church of St. Maurice, at Angers, knowing the True, Catho- 
lic, and Apostolic Faith do anathematize every heresy, 
especially the one by which hitherto I have been disgraced, 
and which seeks to show that the bread and wine placed 
upon the altar are, after the consecration, only a sign, and 
not the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ ;. 
and that they cannot, in the Sacrament, be sensibly handled 
by the hands of the priest, or be broken or crushed by the' 
teeth of the faithful. And I agree with the Holy Roman 
and Apostolic See, and with tongue and heart I declare 
that I hold, in regard to the Sacrament of the Lord's table, 
that faith Avhich the venei*able lord Pope Nicholas and this 
holy Synod, by Evangelical and Apostolic authority, has 
given me to hold ; that is, that the bread and wine placed 
upon the altar are, after the consecration, r.ot only a sign, 
but also the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
and that not only in the sign, but in truth, they aic liandlod 
by the hands of the priest, and broken, and crushed by the 
teetli of the faithful ; this I swear by the Hdly and Con- 
substantial Trinity and by these Holy Gospels of Ciirist. 
Anil T pronounce worthy of eternal anathemn, those wiio 
contradict this faith ; them, and their teachings, and their 
followers. If ever again I presume to think or pi*each any- 
thing against the above, I shall be subject to the severity 


of the Canons. Having read and re-read the above, I 
willingly subscribe to it." (1). 

After this Synod, Berengarius returned to France, and 
upon the death of king Henry I. he took advantage of the 
minority of Philip I. and reasserted his heresy, issuing a 
book against the last Roman Council and violently attack- 
ing cardinal Humbert, the author of the Profession he had 
signed. Against this book Lanfranc wrote his famous 
treatise on the Body and Blood of the Lord. About this 
time Berengarius began to use a terminology very much in 
vogue with modern heretics. He styled Pope St. Leo 
IX.. by whom he was first condemned, not a Pontiff, but 
a Ponipifex and a Pdpfex ; he called the Roman Church 
"the Church of the malignant," and said that she held, not 
the Apostolic Chair, but the " Chair of Satan." In 1063, a 
Synod held at St. Ouen, in the presence of William of 
Normandy, and in 1075, another, at Poitiers, condemned 
Berengarius ; but he persisted in his obstinacy. In 1078 
Pope Gregory VII. summoned the heresiarch to appear 
again before a Roman Synod. He begged a year's delay, and 
in the meantime sent a Profession of Faith, which did not sat- 
isfy the Pontiff. In 1079 he appeared before another Synod, 
over which Pope Gregory presided in person. The Ads of 
this assembly tell us that " Berengarius, the teacher of this 
error, frequently avowed his crime to the Council, and hav- 
ing begged pardon, merited it of the Apostolic clemency." 
He then made the following Profession : " I, Berengarius, 
believe in my heart, and avow with my tongue, that the 
bread and wine placed upon the altar are converted sub- 
stantially, by the mystery of the holy prayer and by the 

(1) In regard to the meaning of the words " not only in the sign, but in tiuih, it is handled 
by the hands of the priest, and broken, etc.." Catholic doctors differ. Some hold that these 
acus are exercised only on the Sacramental species ; others contend that they affect the 
Body of Christ. The former hold that the species or accidents remain, after the cotjsecra- 
tion, and that these are broken, etc. Among the assertors of this theory was Abf^lard, and 
because of it, he was styled by some " another Berengarius." Abelard says : " This break- 
age may well be said to take place, not in the substance of the Body, but in the form of the 
Sacramental bread ; then the breakage or partition would be true, though not in the sub- 
stance, but in the Sacrament, that is, in the species Trnln indeed, but only in the 

Sacrament." Walter, abbot of St. Victor's at Paris, accused Abelard of hereby " subtracting 
from the truth ; saying that all these are done, not in the substance but ' in the yisible 
species, and in the form of the bread." Rut this is unjust to Abelard. remarks Alexandre 
Abelard contended against Berengarius that the Eucharist is the trvc Body of Christ, that 
the bread is changed into the substance of the Lord's Body : but that breaking, etc., is exer- 
cised, not in the Body, but in the " Sacrament," (sign' or specit^s. And certainly, for more 
than seven hundred years the Church has sung the words of St. Thomas Aquinas, " there is 
no partition of the substance : the fracture is only of the sign." 


words of our Kedeemer, into the true, real, and vivifying 
Flesh and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ ; and that, after 
the consecration, they are the true Body of Christ which 
was born of the Virgin, Avhich hung from the cross for the 
salvation of the world, and wliicli sits at the right hand of 
the Father, and the true Blood of Christ which flowed from 
His side ; not onl}* in sign and virtue of a Sacrament, but 
in property of nature and in truth of substance, as it is 
stated in this Brief, which I have read and you understand. 
Thus I believe, and never again will I contradict this Faith. 
So help me God, and these Holy Gospels of God ! " Ber- 
thold of Constance, a contemporary, informs us that Pope 
Gregory then commanded Berengarius, bj' the authority of 
God Almighty, and of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, 
never again to dispute with any person, or to teach any per- 
son anything regarding the Keal Presence, unless indeed it 
were to convert to the truth those whom he had perverted. 
In spite of this third recantation, it would seem that Be- 
rengarius again relapsed. But there is good reason for 
believing that he died in the orthodox faith. The ancient 
MSS. of Lorris record that, "Leaving Rome, Berengarius 
came to Tours, and in the Island of St. Cosmas renounced 
the pomps of the world, combating for the Lord nearly 
twenty-eight years. (1). And Clare of Fleury says : " The 
master Berengarius of Tours, an admirable philosopher, 
was a lover of the poor. He composed the prayer * Jesus 
Christ, Just Judge,' and finished his life a faithful and true 
Catholic." (2). Finally, William of Malmesbury writes: 
" Although Berengarius stained his hot early youth with 
the defence of certain heresies, in his more austere age he 
so repented as to be regarded by some as a saint." (3). 
Mosheim quite naturally dislikes the idea of any return, on 
the part of a heretic, to the bosom of mother Church ; 
hence he ridicules the above and other testimonies, which 
show that, after all his vacillations, the most distinguished 
of Sacramentarians died in the communion of Rome. But 
when this author himself admits, nay insists, that Berenga- 

(1) Tht' number 'iX is ovidentlv iin error, for Bcrt'rujariiis dleil in UHS. 

(2) ("liirt' wrote Ills Vhruniclc iu tUe bet^lunluK of ibe twelfth century. 
W) Book ill. 


rius was regarded, after death, as a saint, how does he ac- 
count for this opinion, if he believes this ** saint" to have 
died in his old Sacramentarian belief ? Mosheim says 
that in his day the canons of Tours performed an annual 
service at the tomb of Berengarius ; and how could that be, 
if these canons were not persuaded that he died in friend- 
ship with the Holy See ? The German historian points to 
the fact that Berengarius begged pardon of God for the 
'•perjury" he had committed at Rome in renouncing his 
theories. But this pardon was asked in the work written 
shortly after the death of king Henry I. (1060), and during 
the twenty-eight years of life yet remaining to him Beren- 
garius may have repented of that expression. (1) 



In reference to the amatory phase of Abelard's life we 
shall say very little. It has been so frequently the theme 
of poets, that a general and crude notion of it is widely 
spread. Only the student, however, is aware that the " woes 
of Abelard and Heloise " are by no means the chief things 
for him to consider in the career of this extraordinary man. 
In fact, if Abelard were celebrated only for the events of 
which Pope and others have sung, his career would find 
no place among the topics noticed by the ecclesiastical 
historian. But the errors which he taught from his pro- 
fessorial chair, and his peculiar relations with the great St. 
Bernard which thence ensued, are worthy of the student's 
attention. Bayle (2), Mosheim (3), and other Protestant 
authors, have shown great sympathy with Abelard ; not 
because this philosopher was a contumacious heretic, for we 
shall show that he was not such, but because they would 
detract from the reputation of " the last of the fathers, " 

(1) Bergier remarks that Mosheim seems to have taken all he says about Berengarius from 
BsLsnage (Histor}/ of thf Clmrch, B. xxiv. c 2.). We flud in both " the same reflections, 
and the whole is founded only on the assertions of this heresiarch, convicted a hundred 
times of imposture and perfl<iy." 

I2i THctUmnrxi, art. JhlJord, Heloise, Bernard. 

(3; Cent, xii., p. 2, c. 3., S 10. 


St. Bernard, who was the ambitious professor's chief oppo- 
nent. Before entering upon a narration of Abelard s ab- 
errations and of the course of St. Bernard, we shall give a 
short sketch of our subject's life, for the popular version is 
in many respects inaccurate. 

Peter Abelard was born in 1079, at Palais, a village about 
eight miles east of Nautes, in Brittany. His father was a 
soldier, but fond of letters, and hence the young Abelard 
was made, not a knight, but a scholar. When a mere lad, 
he became a real peripatetic, going from place to place, and 
disputing, wherever he found an opportunity, on dialectics. 
Arriving, at length, in Paris, he attended the lectures of the 
celebrated William of Champeaux, archdeacon of Paris, and 
one of the first philosophers of his time. William was at 
first greatly pleased with his new auditor, but he was soon 
vexed on finding that most of his scholars deemed the young 
Abelard more worthy than himself to occupy the chair. 
Already, in fact, the young man gave unmistakable signs of 
those qualities which were to prove the bane of his life. 
Not only his conduct, as we gather from his contemporaries, 
but his own writings, show him to have been vain, pre- 
sumptuous, and jealous. He disputed, not so much for the 
sake of truth, as to enjoy the pleasure of conquering. 
Nothing pleased him so much as to weaken the reputation 
of other professors ; to entice away their scholars. He was 
a handsome man, possessed a charming voice, and was a 
poet as well as a philosopher. But his own works show 
that he owed his success much more to his seductive exter- 
nals, than to superior solidity of doctrine. He complains 
much, in his letters, of his many enemif^s and of their perse- 
cutions. Many cruel and unjust persecutors he certainly 
possessed, but it is too evident that many of these enemies 
were deliberately made such by himself, that lie might 
defy and conquer them. Abelard was only twenty two 
years of age when he opened a scholastic hall at Melun. 
His reputaticm became immense, and as he succeeded in 
combating the views of his old master, William of Charc- 
peaux, on certain scholastic questions, the leoture-hall of 
that unfortunate professor was soon deserted for the one at 

ABELARD. 'i'i9 

Melun. After a while, Abelard removed to Corbeu, but 
hearing that William had resigned his chair in Paris, and 
Jiad become a regular canon, he went to Mt. St. Gen- 
evieve, and there began to lecture. After a few years, he 
intermitted his lectures, and attended the theological course 
of Anselm of Laon (1), a famous professor of divinity- 
Eere he undertook to lecture in opposition to his professor, 
but, his proceedings being interdicted, he returned to Paris, 
■where he soon acquired great fame and much money. And 
here we must succinctly but accurately narrate the events 
which have excited so much sympathy for Abelird. Up to 
his thirty-fifth year he seems to have led an exemplary life. 
His affections, like his ambitions, had been purely intellect- 
ual. But his inordinate pride needed a check, and it 
received a severe one. About the year 1114, Abelard made 
the acquaintance of the canon Fulbert, a beneficiary of the 
cathedral of Paris. Through the canon, he came to know 
the canon's niece, a beautiful young woman, and renowned 
throughout France for her learning. He soon fell a captive 
to the attractions of Heloise, and deliberately designed her 
seduction. Knowing that Fulbert was proud of his niece's 
mental acquirements, Abelard offered to reside in their 
house, and, besides paying his board, to act as tutor to 
Heloise. The offer was accepted, and Abelard himself tells 
us, in delicate and eloquent terms, of the result of his plot, 
namely, that Heloise became a too willing victim to his and 
her own passions. (2). In time, her condition compelled her 
to secretly leave her uncle's house, and to betake herself 
into Brittany, to the care of a sister of Abelard. There she 
■gave birth to a son, who was named Astrolabius. When 
Fulbert discovered the state of affairs, he naturally in- 
sisted that marriage should take place between the parties. 
Abelard, the reader must know, was free to marry, for, 
though a cleric, he was not in Holy Orders. He would 
have married Heloise from the beginning, but he was am- 

(1) This Anselm must not be confounded with the An.sehn, namely, the saintly archbishop 
of Canterbury and one of the most learned men of the Middle A?es. This confusion is 
sometimes made. Thus, in Appleton's Condensed Cucloprvdia, we are told that Abelard 
" studied divinity at Laon, under Anselm, whom he also eclipsed." As there were only two 
Anselms of very p-'eat name at that period, viz., the saints of Canterbury and of Lucca, this 
non-qualiflcation of the name and the glorifying of Abelard with the term "eclipsed" 
"would mislead the ordinary reader. 

(2) A BELARD, Letter (/; a friend, on the History of my Misfortunes. 


bitious of ecclesiastical preferment, and his overweening 
vanity led him to aspire to any height. If the alleged Let- 
ters of Heloise are genuine, she herself encouraged him in 
this conduct, preferring " to be his mistress, rather than his 
wife," (1) if she could only see him idolized by the multi- 
tude. Be this as it may, Abelard now asked Heloise to 
marry him. Her answer shows that, learned though she 
was, passion had completely warped her mind, and that 
much of the sympathy extended to her has been misplaced. 
She told Abelard that even by marriage she would not 
pacify her uncle ; that it would be inglorious for Abelard 
to unite himself to one woman, when nature had made him 
for all ; that matrimony was full of vexations, and that 
Theophrastes and Cicero had both declared that no man 
could wed both a wife and philosophy ; " there was nothing 
in common between scholars and servant-women, between 
writing-materials and cradles, between books and distaffs, 
between pens and spindles ; " that, finally, Abelard was a- 
cleric, and it was unfitting that he should marry. In spite 
of these strange reasons, Abelard persisted, and at length 
Heloise yielded. Keturning to Paris, she was married to 
Abelard, her uncle consenting that the union should be 
kept secret, for the sake of the professor's ambition. But 
the foolish Fulbert, proud of having the great philosopher 
for a nephew, soon began to boast of the marriage ; the 
servants of the house also began to talk. Then He'loise 
denied that she was married, great scandal ensued, and 
finally Abelard persuaded his wife to quiet things by re- 
tiring for a time to the convent of Argenteuil, where she 
had been educated. She might put on the nun's habit, he 
said, but she was by no means to take the veil. When this 
came to the ears of Fulbert and his kindred, they imag- 
ined that Abelard had tired of Heloise, and had ridden 
himself of an encumbrance. Maddened at the fancied in- 
sult, and burning for revenge, they attacked tlie unfortu- 
nate professor, and barbarously mutilated liim. (2;. Shortly 
after his recovery, the humiliated Abelard, moved, as he 

(1) IlEl-OiSE, Kiiianr tit Ahi'lanl, n.'Z. 

(2) For tliit dutrap' Kullicrt was (Icprlveil of his bf nellces, and the actual perpetrators 
are said to have been punished by tlic saiiic mutilation they had Inlllcted. 


himself testifies, more by shame than by devotion, took the 
monastic habit in the famous Benedictine abbey of St. 
Denis. Heloise took the veil at Argenteuil, and although, 
in the letters which she is said to have afterwards sent to 
Abelard, there are some expressions that savor of levity 
and even of a criminal hankering after the past, she seems 
to have finally settled into a contented and holy religious. 
In the course of time she became prioress of the convent 
at Argenteuil, and when the community was forced by the 
monks of St. Denis, who wished its house for themselves, 
to abandon Argenteuil, she took her nuns to the oratory of 
the Paraclete, which Abelard and his pupils, as we shall 
see, had constructed with their own hands, and afterwards 
ceded to Heloise. While abbess of the Paraclete, Heloise 
was visited by St. Bernard. The blessed Peter Mauricius, 
abbot of Cluny, greatly esteemed her, and in one of his 
letters he congratulates her as " a woman truly and en- 
tirely philosophical, who had chosen the Gospel instead of 
logic, the Apostle instead of physics, and the cloister instead 
of the Academy." 

Had Abelard become a monk simply for love of quiet, 
although that would have been a merely human motive, 
and therefore unworthy, he might not have been totally 
disappointed. But having done so in pure disgust and in 
shame, without any supernatural impulse whatever, it is not 
surprising that for many years his life knew but little of 
peace. Again, he seems to have brought into the monastery 
all the worldly spirit which had ever actuated him. His 
terrible experience had not lessened his pride of intellect, 
and when contradictions came, he knew not how to bear 
them. When Abelard first entered the monastery of St. 
Denis, his shame caused him to keep withdrawn from the 
gaze of the world, but his reputation was so great that 
many demands were made upon the abbot Adam, his su- 
perior to order him to resume his lectures. This order 
was soon given, and once more the multitudes of students 
hearkened to their idol's oracles. But in the year 1121, 
the great master was accused of heresy before the Synod of 
Boissons ; a book he had written on The Trinity was con- 


'demned, because of errors on the omnipotence of God, and 
he was ordered to himself cast it to the flames. He was 
consigned to the custody of the abbot of St. Medard at 
Suissons ; but the Papal legate, Conon of Palestriua, re- 
leased him and sent him back to St. Denis. In a short 
time he became involved in trouble with the abbot Adam, 
owing to his agreement with Ven. Bede that the holy Are- 
opagite was not bishop of Athens, but of Corinth. This 
touched the monks of St. Denis upon a tender spot ; so 
furiously did they resent Abelard's theor}^ that they ex- 
cited against him the ire of king Louis VI., telling the mon- 
arch that the honor of their St. Denis was the honor of 
France, and it would have gone hard with the unfortunate 
master, had not Stephen, the royal steward, obtained for 
him the privilege of leaving his monastery. He sought the 
protection of Theobald, count of Troyes, and having ob- 
tained permission from his abbot, he constructed, in a 
beautiful solitude given him by some admirers, a little 
oratory of reeds, where he proposed to reside. His former 
pupils learning of this, they came from all quarters to 
dwell around him and listen to his lectures. They built 
huts for habitations, and lived as they best conld. During 
the intervals between the master's discourses, they all 
labored at a larger oratory, which would contain the 
hundreds of scholars drawn thither by the magic of his elo- 
quence. When finished, it was dedicated to the Holy 
Trinity, and as Abelard had here found much consolation 
amid his vexations, he called it the Paraclete. After a 
residence here of a few years, he was chosen abbot by the 
monks of St. Gildas de Ruys, in the diocese of Vannes, in 
Brittany. By this time Abelard had advanced much in 
piety, and was therefore very zealous in the enforcement of 
discipline. The consequence was that he soon became an 
object of hatred to some of his monks, and several times 
they attempted his life. After his condemnation, in 1140, 
by the Synod of Sens, of which we shall soon speak, Abe- 
lard appealed to the Pontiff, Innocent II., and in the 
meantime claimed the hospitality of the venerable Peter, 
Abbot of Cluny. He was cheerfully received, and for two 


years edified that strict commauity by the manifestation of 
«very monastic virtue. We shall have occasion hereafter 
to cite the letter which the venerable Peter of Cluuy wrote 
to Pope Innocent II. in favor of Abelard, but we here give 
a portion of the letter in which the holy abbot informed the 
abbess Heloise of " the master's " truly holy death : " I do 
not recollect of ever having seen his equal in humility ; 
Germanus would not appear to the accurate observer more 
abject, or xMartin poorer. When I compelled him to hold a 
superior position among our large number of brethren, he 
appeared to be the last of all. I was frequently thunder- 
struck when watching him in the processions, while he 
walked with the others, as is customary, before me, reflect- 
ins how so famous a man could so contemn himself. And 
while there are some religious who greatly desire that their 
■dress should be sumptuous, he was very careless in such 
matters, and was quite content with simple garments, of 
^iny kind. He preserved the same system in his food, in 
his drink, and in every care of his body. And he con- 
demned, in himself and in others, both by word and in 
practice, not only superfluities, but everything that was 
not really necessary. His study was constant, his prayer 
frequent ; his silence never-failing, unless a conference of 
the brethren, or a sermon to them, compelled him to speak. 
He used to frequent the heavenly Sacraments, and as often 
^s he was able, to offer to God the sacrifice of the Immac- 
ulate Lamb His mind, tongue, and actions were 

always occupied in diviue things, or on philosophy, or on 

matters of erudition For recuperation, as he was 

troubled with an itch and other bodily evils, I sent him to 

Chalons, on account of its mildness of climate there. 

-so far as his complaints would permit, he renewed his olden 
studies, and was ever at his books. As we read of the 
great Gregory, he allowed not a moment to pass unoccu- 
pied by prayer, or by reading, or by writing, or by dictation. 
The coming of the gospel visitor found him among these 
holy exercises, nor, like many, was he found asleep, but on 

the watch How devoutly, how holily, how like a 

Catholic, he made a confession of faith, and then of his 


sins ; with what oager desire he received the Viatictim for 
his journey and the pledge of eternal life, the Body of our 
Lord the Redeemer ; how 30iifidently he committed his. 
body and soul to Him, for the present and forever, can be 
attested by all the religious of tliat ix^onastery in which 
rest the body of the holy martyr Maieellus." With this 
truly consoling and edifying letter, the venerable abbot of 
Oluny sent to the abbess Heloise the mortal remains of 
Abelard, and she interred them in her convent cf the Para- 
clete. The letter of Peter of Cluny to Heloise is sufficient 
testimony to the repentance and holy end of Abelard, but 
the reader will not be uninterested with the following, the 
first of two epitaphs which the holy abbot sent to be en- 
graved on the tomb .• " Abelard was the Socrates of France, 
the Plato of the West, our Aristotle ; equal, if not superior, 
to all the logicians who have ever lived ; known as the prince 
of learning throughout the world ; of varied genius, subtle, 
and acute ; mastering all by strength of reason and by 
artistic diction. But he triumphed the most, when he be- 
came a professed monk of Cluny, and cultivated the true 
philosophy of Christ. Here he happily completed the days 
of a long life, leaving us the hope that he is now numbered 
among true philosophers." 

There is much sickening sentimentality abroad in con- 
nection with the names of Abelard and Heloise ; thousands, 
who know nothing of the theologian and philosopher,, 
sympathize with the unfortunate lover. Even certain 
serious historians play the school-girl, and manifest symp- 
toms of hysteria when they touch on the " woes of Abelard 
and Heloise." Listen to the grave Henri Martin : declaim- 
ing how Heloise offers to the world an example of real love, 
"of an entire surrender of oup's self : " insisting that thfr 
importance of Heloise " in the moral history of humanity" 
is not due to her extraordinary learning ; telling us how, 
when buried in a nunnery, respected by the entire Church, 
she does not change "interiorly," does not imdergo the 
mystic death of the cloister, never repents of her love, 
accepts not monastic asceticism, Imt, " eternally " protests- 
in her heart, " which is so well formed for divine love;" 


-declaring that this Heloise, " inconsolable and unsubmit- 
ting," appears like "a great veiled figure " at tlie entrance 
of the " moral world ; " and finally flattering himself that 
" the just instinct of the French " has made of her " one of 
the national glories." because she is "the great saint of 
love." (1). Such ravings may suit the " Druidic school," of 
which Henri Martin was the head, but they are not to be 
encouraged by a Christian. And whence this deluge of 
tears? Whether shed by Colardeau, Mercier, Sauriu, Pope, 
or Martin, they are caused by the " immortal " Xe^^er.9 of 
Heloise— letters which the last named author regards as 
" bearing the characteristics of no epoch," but as " above 
-all time ;" as revealing " no accidental form of the soul" 
but its very " eternal depth." And yet, remarks a modern 
-critic (2), it would seem that these Letters are no more gen- 
uine than those of Penelope to Ulysses, of Phedra to Hip- 
polytus, of Briseis to Achilles, of Sappho to Phaon, of 
Helen to Paris, which Ovid has furnished to us. This 
prosaic truth has been well evinced by M. Lalanne (3), from 
whose essay we extract the following arguments : " These 
letters of Heloise, so full of passion, contain many contra- 
dictions and impossibilities. Their tone is inexplicable. I 
can conceive how Heloise could have said such things to 
Abelard during the first years following their separation ; 
but fourteen years of religious life have passed before the 
first letter is written. And she speaks to a man now fifty- 
four years old ; incapable, for fourteen years, of responding 
to her passion ; exhausted by his theological combats, by 
his wandering life, by his persecutions, and who now aspires 
-only to eternal repose. Nothing checks her ; her passion 
is unspeakably vehement, and yet she is the woman of 
whom, shortly before the penning of the first letter, Abelard 
has said, in the History of his 31isfortunes, that ' the entire 
world admired her piety, her wisdom, and her inconceivable 
sweetness of patience in all circumstances ; she seldom left 
her cell, but there devoted herself to holy meditation and 

(1) History of France, vol. iii., p. 315, edit. 1855. 

(2) Larroque, Errojvs of M. Martin, in his HUitwu of France, in the Annals of 
^ChriMian Philosni>hy, Paris, Feb., 1868. 

(3) In the Literary Correspondence, Paris, Dec. 5, 1856. 


prajer.' But this is not all. Even if we admit — which is 
very difficult — that Heloise, from the day of the catastrophe 
to the moment when, expelled from Argenteuil, she was 
welcomed by him to the Paraclete (1129), never met Abe- 
lard, it is certain that then she did converse with him, and 
not merely on one occasion, and that the consequent; 
scandalous rumors caused Abelard to cease his visits. (1). 
How then can Heloise complain that, from the date of their 
monastic profession, that is. from 1119 (or 1120), she has^ 
not enjoyed Abelard's presence or one letter from him? 
Nevertheless, she is said to have so expressed herself in 
1133. Therefore I do not believe that she wrote these- 

Letters Again, granting that Heloise, and after her 

time, the nuns of the Paraclete, preserved the letters of 
Abelard to her ; can we unhesitatingly admit that, during a 
wandering life and until his death, Abelard preserved her 
letters, which breathed a passion and an ardent sensualitj 
which must have necessarily compromised that reputation 
for wisdom and holiness which she had acquired ? . . . . 
Finally, these letters of Heloise are very labored ; every- 
tiiing is arranged in order; the vehemence of their senti 
ments never, for a moment, interrupts their method Their 
extreme length, their erudite and very exact quotations from 
the Bible, from the Fathers, and from Pagan authors, all 
convince me that they were not penned by a correspondent 
but were leisurely elaborated, and with infinite art." (2). 

(1) In the Ilisttiiii of his Minfortuncs, p. 30, etlit. Ducbesne, unn. Abelard defends- 
himself fioiii these charges. 

(^) In rejriiid to the faiiions totnb of AhtMani and Heloise at Pere-Lachaise mi eminent 
arch;eoi(itrist, (iiiiihenny (in the AirJiduhu/ictl An)inl.% Vnris, IS-Ifi), says: "We must, 
demand satisfaction fnjm those who show, every day, so little fonsideratidn for historical- 
iconoKiaiihy, in iiropairatinfr emus which prescription will eventually raise to the tank of 
truths. Take, for instance, one of oin- most [ioi)ular monuments in ttie cemetery of I'ere 
Lachaise. the toinh of Ahelaid and Heloise. How many illusions would vanish, if the pil- 
grims who here perform their devotions only knew that, in the construction of this eletrant 
sepidchral chapel, there entered not one sUnw from that severe and learned abbey of the 
Paraclete which romancintr trouhadom-s have treated as a kind of temple of Venus The 
columns, the capitals, and the decorations of the fotn- facades, came from the cloister ai d 
some internal oralories of the m<inastery of St. Denis. The eves of an exiiert are not re- 
•luired for the discovery that these sculptures were not oriirinallv destined for the same 
iieiirhliorhood. It was ,M. ]a-iu,U: director of the Museimi of French Monuments, who con- 
ceived the idea of unilinK some of the frat'meiils [ilaced at his disposal, so as to form ii 
toud) lit to receive the ashes of the two illuslri(.us li. vers of the twi-lflh century Kor the 
men who had thrown to the winds the venerable ami glorious lushes of st (ienevieve of 
St. Marcellus. of St. I'.ernard, of Suirer. were elownishlv sensilive when lliev opened the 
tx.inbof Abelard and Heloise : they were of the opinion that honors rendered to these 
victims of the cloister " would (jive a rude blow ti^ a fanati.-ism which the a\e was not ex- 
tirpalmtr ((uickly enough: Iherefoie, a ca.sket. sealed bv the republican municii.ality of 
N(.Kent-sur-Seine. broutdit to Paris the ashes taken from the tond. of the I'aracleie. But 
before the remains were placed in their last resiinir-place. the amateurs of a new kind of 
relics were to be satlslled. It is said that one of the .soldiers at Valiny wore n tallsmaa 
made from the mou-stache of Henry IV. Well, atheists and philosophers, probably oldeQ 


It is certain that Abelarcl fell into several errors of 
doctrine, but there were many points in which his manner 
of expressing himself, rather than his teaching, was to be 
condemned. (1). The first condemnation of any error on 
the part of Abelard took place at the Synod of Soissons, in 
1121 ; he retracted what he was ordered to retract, and was 
sent back to his monastery by the Papal legate. But in 
after j^ears, when he was endeavoring to discipline the un- 
ruly monks of St. Gildas, his adversaries accused him not 
onlv of teaching the already condemned doctrines, but of 
having put forth new errors. Abelard now saw in the 
ranks of bis accusers the great St. Bernard, an adversary 
whose fame for sanctity and learning forbade his indif- 
ference. He therefore besought of Henry, archbishop of 
Sens, to afford him an opportunity of defending his doc- 
trines in Bernard's presence. The prelate acquiesced, and 
a Synod was convoked at Sens, in 1140. Besides Henry of 
Sens and many other bishops, king Louis VII. and a large 
number of abbots attended. At first, the holy abbot of 
Clairvaux did not wish to be present, because it was im- 
proper, he said, to take up the consideration of opinions 
already condemned ; but finally he yielded, lest the par- 
tisans of Abelard should boast that their leader's position 
was impregnable. When the Synod had met, certain ex- 
tracts from Abelard 's books were being read, when, to the 
surprise of all, the author arose, appealed to the judgment 
of the Roman Pontiff, and left the hall. Out of respect for 
the Holy See, the prelates then took no action in re ard to 
the person of Abelarcl ; nevertheless, they condemned his 
errors, and sent a report of their proceedings to Pope Inno- 
cent II., beseeching him to repress the innovator's audacity. 

levelers of heads, seized upon the few teeth remaining in one of poor H^loise's jaws, as 
safeguards in tiieir lusts- A tooth of Heloise cost a thousand francs ; Abelard's were not 
valued so highly. . . . The tomb was completed in the following manner : They took a has- 
relief representing the funeral cortege of Louis, son of St. Louis, and they decided that 
heieafter it should represent Ab^lard's funeral procession. The soul of the young prince, 
being carried to heaven by an angel, became that of the great doctor. Two medallions 
represented Abelard as a love, with curled moustaches, and Heloise as a half-naked 
woman, about as decent as a Messalina. In the sarcophagus, you see two recumbent 
statues ; one in clerical costume, and this is the .\belard so seductive above with his flowing 
hair and mnustaches; the other is of a woman of the fourteenth century, and was original- 
ly onatiimbin the chapel of St. John of Beauvais, in Paris. How much this unknown 
liidy has gained by her assumption of the name of Heloise 1 The gnsettes bathe her with 
their tears, and bury her in crowns of immortcUes. for which they have paid ten cents at 
the gate of the cemetery ; then the pitying creatures sit down, and read, as though thejr 
were pravers. two or three of the parodied letters of ' Loise and B^lard.' " 
(1) Alexa.vdre, Cent- xii., diss. 7, art 0. 


Samsoii of Klieims, Josceliu of Soissous, and other prelates, 
now sent a letter to the Pontiff, the style of which, Alexandre 
well observes, indicates that St. Bernard was its author. 
"We give a part of it, because it plainly shows the impres- 
sion which Abelard had made upon men of undoubted zeal 
and learning : " Peter Abelard tries to nullify the merit of 
Christian faith, for he thinks that he can comprehend, with 
his human intelligence, all that God is. He ascends even 
unto heaven, and descends into the abysses ; nothing is 
hidden from him, whether it is in heaven above, or in the 
depths of hell. In his owu eyes he is agieat man, disput- 
ing dejide against the faith, dealing with great aud won- 
derful things above himself, an inquirer into majesty, a 
fabricator of heresies. Some time ago he composed a book 
on the Holy Trinity, but as errors were found in it, it was 
given to the flames by order of the legate of the Roman 
Church. Accursed is he who rebuilds the ruins of Jericho. 
That book has arisen from the dead, and with it, many 
heresies which had died have arisen and appeared to many. 
At last it extends its shoots even to the sea, and pushes 
them even to Rome. This man boasts that his book is 
received in the Roman court, and hence his error is strength- 
ened and confirmed, and he confidently preaches the word 
of iniquity on all sides. And when, in the presence of the 
bishops, the abbot of Clairvaux, armed with the zeal of 
justice and of faith, would press him concerning these 
things, he neither avowed nor denied them ; but, without 
any provocation, and merely that he might lengthen his 
iniquity, he appealed from the day, place, aud judge, he 

himself had chosen, unto the Apostolic See AVe have 

gone on in this affair, so far as we m >y dare. It is now for 
you, most blessed Father, to provide that the beauty of the 
Church be not stained by any mark of heretical foulness." 

In his own name, St. Bernard addressed two epistles (nos. 
189 and 190) to the Pontiff. In the first we read : " Fool- 
ishly did I lately promise myself rest, as though the fury of 
the lion had been appeased, and peace would return to the 
Church. It indeed rested, but I did not. We have escaped 
a lion, but we have encountered a dragon, who is not less 


dangerous in ambush than the other roaring aloud. But he 
is not altogether in ambush ; would that his virulent pages 
were hidden in his desk, and were not read at the cross- 
roads! A new gospel, and a new faith, are proposed 

to the peoples Goliath advan^,-s his tall frame, 

equipped in all the panoply of war, and preceded by his 

squire, Arnold of Brescia While attacking the doctors 

of the Church, he gives great praise to the philosophers ; 
he prefers their inventions and his own novelties to the 
doctrine of the Catholic Fathers and the faith ; and while 
all fly from before him, he selects me, the least of all, for 
single combat .... At his request, the archbishop of Sens 
wrote to me, appointing a day for a meeting, in which he 
(Abelard), in the presence of the bishops, would establish, 
if possible, those wicked teachings against which I had 
dared to murmur. I declined, both because I am a boy, 
and he is a warrior from his youth, and because I judged it 
unworthy to submit to the agitation of petty human reason 
that faith which is surely founded upon certain and stable 
truth. I said that his writings were enough for an accu- 
sation against him ; that it was not my business, but that 
of the bishops, i;o judge of dogmas. Nevertheless, he, for 
this very reason, cried out the louder, called many together, 

summoned his partisans He reported everywhere 

that, on a certain day, he would reply to me at Sens ; every 
one heard it, and it could not escape me." The Saint 
then narrates the proceedings at Sens, and concludes : 
" You will judge, Successor of Peter, whether he ought 
to find refuge in the See of Peter, who denies the faith of 
Peter. You, I say, friend of the Bridegroom, will know 
how to free the Spouse from wicked lips and from a de- 
ceitful tongue." St. Bernard also wrote on the cause of 
Abelard to all the Roman cardinals collectively, and es- 
pecially to the cardinal Guido di Castello, who had been a 
disciple of that master. In his letter to this cardinal he 
says : " In his book master Peter introduces profane novel- 
ties of speech and of meaning he sees nothing as in a 

mirror and by enigma, but regards everything face to face. 
. . . When he speaks of the Trinity, he sounds like Arius ; 


when of grace, like Pelagius ; when of the Person of Christy 
like Nestorius." Writing to cardinal Ivo, the Saint thus 
depicts his adversar}- : " Master Peter Abelard, a monk 
without rule, a prelate without charge, neither holds any 
order, nor is held by order. He is a man dissimilar to 
himself ; within a Herod, without a John ; altogether am- 
biguous, having nothing of the monk but the name and the 

dress He passes the limits placed by our Fathers, 

wa-iting and disputing on faith, the Sacraments, and the 
Trinity ; he changes, augments, or diminishes, just as ne 

pleases He is ignorant of nothing in heaven or on earth, 

excepting himself. " If some of St. Bernards expressions 
seem harsh, we must remember that he was defending the 
cause of the truth, the interests of Catholic dogma, and 
therefore the interests of imperilled souls. In the mind 
and words of the true Catholic, there can be no compromise 
with heresy, and in dealing with Abelard, St. Bernard would 
have been foolish had he regarded him as an ignorant lay- 
man or a delicate schoolgirl under instruction. He was a 
" Goliath, equipped in all the panoply of war," and it was- 
only the sharp pebble, sent straight at his brow, that was- 
to bring him down. It is ridiculous for Mosheim to affect 
to believe that St. Bernard was jealous of Abelard. The 
Saint was one of the last to enter the lists against the inno- 
vator, and it was principally because of the pressure brought 
to bear upon him by "William, abbot of St. Thierry, that he 
moved in the matter. Before the Council of Sens he wrote 
amicably and urgently to Abelard, begging him to correct 
his books. Abelard was condemned at Rome, as well as at 
Sens and are we to suppose that the Pope and the cardi- 
nals were actuated by jealousy ? Bernard was simply actu- 
ated by zeal for the truth, and the moment he found that 
his antagonist had retracted, he gave him a brother's hand, 
as we shall now see. 

When Pope Innocent II. had received a report of the 
proceedings at Sens, he confirmed the condemnation of 
Abelard's errors, and enjoined upon the master. " as upon 
a heretic," perpetual silence. After leaving Sens. Abelard, 
as we have seen, started for Rome, but hearkening to the 


fatherly voice of the venerable Peter of Cluny, he stopped 
in that monastery. Here he was reconciled to St. Bernard, 
as we are intormed in the following letter, written by Peter 
to the Pontiff: "The master Peter, well known, as I be- 
lieve, to your Wisdom, coming lately from France (1), 
passed through Cluny. We asked him whither he was 
journeying. He replied that he was greatly vexed by cer- 
tain parties, who styled him a heretic, a name which he 
greatly abhorred, and that he had appealed to the Apostolic 
Majesty. We applauded the design, and we advised him to 
fly to the known and general refuge ; and we told him that 
the Apostolic justice, which never failed a stranger or a 
pilgrim, would not be refused to him. We promised that 
he should receive mercy, if reason there were for it. In 
the meantime there arrived the lord Cistercian abbot, and 
he talked both with Abelard and with ourselves, concern- 
ing peace betweeen him (Abelard) and my lord of Clairvaux, 
because of whom he had appealed. We, too, did what we 
could toward this reconciliation, and we exhorted Abelard 
to go with him (the Cistercian) to Bernard. And we also 
admonished him to remove from his books and words any- 
thing he might have said or written offensive to Catholic 
ears ; and this, in accordance with his (Bernard's) exhorta- 
tion, and that of other good and wise men. And so it was 
done. He went and returned, having, by the mediation of 
the Cistercian, accommodated his olden differences with my 
lord of Clairvaux, and had a peaceful interview. Mean- 
while, being advised by us, or rather, as we believe, being 
inspired by God, he abandoned the tumults of school and 
study, and chose a permanent abode in your Cluny. Be- 
lieving this to be fitting to his age, his weakness, and 
his religion, and deeming his knowledge, not altogether 
unknown to you, to be of great advantage to our large 
community of brethren, we assented to his request ; and so, 
if it be pleasing to your Benignity, we have graciously and 
joyfully allowed him to remain with us, your children. 
Therefore I, whatever I may be, yet ever yours, do ask ; and 
this convent of Cluny, most devoted to you, also asks ; and 

(1) Cluny was In Burgundy, which was not joined to France until 1477. 


he himself asks, by these letters which he has requested me 
to write, and by us aud the bearers of these letters, that 
you will order him to spend his remaining days, which 
perchance are few, in your Cluny ; and that, by means of no 
one, he be expelled or removed from the house which, like 
a sparrow, he has found, or from the nest in which he, like 
a dove, rejoices ; but that, as you ever cherish the good, 
and have loved even him, you will protect him with the 
Apostolic shield." 

With regard to the errors of Abelard, the reader is re- 
ferred to Alexandre's apposite dissertation, if he is desirous 
of examining them in detail. We merely give a brief sum- 
mary of them, as described by St. Bernard (1), by the abbot 
of St. Thierry (2), and by Otho of Frisingen (3). First, he 
placed degrees in the Trinity, " modes " in the majesty, 
and numbers in the eternity of God. The Father is full 
power, the Son a certain power, the Holy Ghost no power. 
The Son is to the Father as a certain power is to power, as 
a species is to a genus, as .man is to animal. Second, he 
asserted that the Holy Ghost proceeds indeed from the 
Father aud the Son, but not from the esse of the Father, or 
from the substance of the Sou. Third, he denied that the 
devil ever had any right in man, and that the Sou became 
man to redeem man from the dominion of Satan. The Son 
died merely to show His love for us. Fourth, the ^(Ay 
Ghost is, according to Abelard, the soul of the world. 
Fifth, he asserted that Christ, God and Man, is not the secoiul 
Person of the Blessed Trinity. Sixth, he contended that we 
can wish aud do good, without the aid of grace. ISeventli, he 
taught that in the Eucharist the form of the prior sub- 
stance remains in the air. Eighth, he held that only the 
punishment, not the guilt, of original sin descends to us 
from Adam. Ninth, he asserted there was no sin, unless 
in contempt of God. Tenth, he contended that ignorance 
always excuses from sin. Eleventh, he taught that diabolical 
suggestions often come from physical impressions, contact. 
etc. Twelfth, he defined faith as the acceptation of things 
which are not seen. Thirteenth, he assigned limits to the 

(1) Epi»t. 190 to Innocent II. (2) Disunite aoainst AbUard. 

Ci) Deeds of Frederick I., B. 1., c. 47. 


Divine Omnipotence, asserting that God could do no more 
than He has done or will do. Fourteenth, he denied the 
descent of Christ into Limbo. Fifteenth, he said that the 
final judgment of men can be attributed also to the Father. 
Sixteenth, he doubted the power of binding and loosing. 
Seventeenth, he asserted that God never impeded evil, 
changing the will of man. Eighteenth, he contended that 
the executioners at the crucifixion did not sin. Nineteenth, 
he taught that the Spirit of the fear of the Lord was not 
in Christ, and that in the next world there would be no 
chaste fear of the Lord. Such were the propositions in 
reference to which St. Bernard wrote to the bishops and 
cardinals of the Koman court (1) : " Read, if you please, 
the book of Peter Abelard, which he says to be on The- 
ology. You have it at hand, for he glories that it is read 
by many in the court. See what he says therein about the 
Trinity, about the generation of the Sou, about the pro- 
cession of the Holy Ghost, and the many innumerable 
things he has foreign to Catholic ears and minds. Read 
also tlie other book, entitled his Sentences, and the one 
with the title Know Thyself, and observe how rank they are 
with the seeds of sacrilege and of error ; see what he 
thinks of the soul of Christ, of His Person, of His descent 
into Limbo, of the Sacrament of the Altar, of the power of 
binding and loosing, of original sin, of concupiscence, of the 
sin of delectation, of that of infirmity and of ignorance, of 
the work of sin, and of the will of sinning. And if, indeed, 
you judge that I am justly moved, do you be moved, and 
lest you be moved in vain, act for the place you hold, for 
the dignity you possess, for the power you have received." 
In his Apology, or Confession of Faith, Abelard declared 
that these errors were all ascribed to him through ignorance 
or malice, and he denied that he ever wrote a book of Sen- 
tences ; but if the reader will follow Alexandre, as he 
examines these nineteen propositions, one by one, he will 
find that many of them were distinctly taught by Abelard, 
although in some cases St. Bernard and the abbot of St. 
Thierry did not correctly apprehend the meaning of the 

(1) EvUi. 187. 


master. As for Abelard's denial that he wrote a book of 
Sentences, he thereby descended to an unworthy and puerile 
equivocation, for though the book may not have borne that 
title, he did not disclaim the authorship of the passages 
to which St. Bernard objected, and which are found in that 
book. One great fault of Abelard was his proneness to the 
use of incongruous illustrations in explaining matters of 
faith. Otlio of Frisiugen (1) gives one instance, which will 
serve for many : " As the proposition, assumption, and con- 
clusion are the same oration, so the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost are the same essence." 

Subjoined to the works of Abelard is to be found an 
Apology for the great master, written by Berengarius of 
Poitiers, who had been one of his disciples. The work of a 
young and ardent man, carried away by enthusiastic admira- 
tion for his teacher, it is extremely contuinelious toward 
St. Bernard. Berengarius asserts that the Saint tried rather 
to discover occasion to rebuke Abelard, than to effect his 
conversion. But we are told by Godfrey (2) that Bernard, 
'• with his usual goodness and benignity, desiring to correct 
the error, not to confound the man, privately admonished 
him : and so modestly and reasonably did he act, that Abe- 
lard was touched, and promised to correct all according to 
his wish. But he abandoned the good design." We are 
also told that Abelard, " whose mouth was the storehouse 
of reason, the trumpet of faith, and the lodging of the Trin- 
ity, " was condemned at Sens, while absent and unheard. 
But he was contumacious, and had withdrawn himself from 
a judgment invoked by himself. Berengarius also attacks 
many points of doctrine which lie alleges to have been put 
forth by St. Bernard, but in each case he misinterprets the 
Saint's meaning. In his more mature age, this enthusiastic 
defender of Abelard modified his opinions, condemned his 
master's errors, and acknowledged St. Bernard as "the 
Martin of our times, a shining light." 

Abelard has often been stigmatized as a heretic, but un- 
justly. He did not pertinaciously adhere to his opinions, 
but ever professed himself willing to correct them, if 

(1) Lt>r. cit. (i) Life of St. Bernard, B. 111., c. 5. 

ABELAllD. 245 

erroneous ; and he did, in fact, correct them. In the Fro- 
logite to his Introduction, he plainly avows his willingness tu 
-accept correction, " by force of reason, or by Scriptural 
authority, " and declares that he will imitate St. Augustine 
in his Retractations, " that if he cannot be free from the vice 
of ignorance, he may at least not incur the guilt of heresy ; 
for ignorance does not make a heretic, but obstinate pride 
does make one." In his Profession of Faith, sent to Heloise, 
he says : ''I wish not to so be a philosopher, as to resist 
Paul ; to so be an Aristotle, as to be separated from Christ. 
There is no other name under heaven, by which I can be 
saved .... And in order that trembling anxiety and all 
doubt may be removed from your heart, you may be sure of 
this in my regard, that I have founded my conscience upon 
that rock upon which Christ founded His Church. ... I be- 
lieve the Son to be co-equal to the Father in all things, in 
eternity, power, will, and deed ; nor do I hearken to Arius, 
who, moved by his perverse genius, yea, seduced by a demon, 
placed degrees in the Trinity, teaching that the Father is 
greater, and the Son less. ... I declare tliat the Holy Ghost 
is consubstantial and co-equal to the Father and the Son in 
all things. ... I assert also that in Baptism all sin is re- 
mitted ; that we need grace, both to commence good, and to 
perfect it. . . . As for the resurrection of the body, why 
should I speak of it, when I would in vain glory in being a 
Christian, if I did not believe I would arise again?" And 
in the last of his works, the Apology, dedicated To All the 
Children of Holy Church, he wrote : " Well known is the say- 
ing that nothing is so well expressed that it cannot be dis- 
torted ; and, as St. Jerome has remarked, he who writes 
many books creates many judges. And I, who have written 
only a few little ones, and in comparison with others, books 
of no moment, have not been able to escape censure ; al- 
though, as to the things of which I am seriously accused, I 
acknowledge, God knows, no fault of my own, and if there 
were any I would not obstinately defend it. I may have 
written some things which ought not to have been written ; 
but I call God to witness, as the Judge of my soul, that I 
have not presumed anything m malice or in pride. I have 


spoken much in many schools, and my doctrine has nevei 
been a sluggish stream or a hidden loaf I have spoken 
openly for the establishing of the faith or of morals,, what 
seemed to me to be salutary, and whatever I have written 
I have opened unto all, rather as to judges than as to disci- 
ples. If I have ever exceeded by much speaking, as it is 
written * by much speaking thou shalt not avoid sin, ' ob- 
stinate resistance has never made me a heretic, for I have 
been ever ready to give satisfaction, either by correcting or 
by destroying all wrong utterances, and in that mind I shall 
persevere to the end. . . .Therefore let fraternal charity 
recognize me, whatsoever I may be, as a son of the Church ; 
one who entirely receives all that she receives, and who re- 
jects all that she rejects ; one who has never broken the 
unity of faith, although unequal to others in virtue." And 
then Abelard expressly professes the Catholic doctrines 
which are contrary to all his own errors, or to those imputed 
to him. 


The Crusades : Their Justice and Effects.* 

During the first years of Islamism the Christian nations 
felt little reason for concern as to their own future. Regard- 
ing the new religionists as a mere horde of children of the 
desert, they could not realize that their own peace, still less 
their independence in the political order, would ever be se- 
riously threatened from that quarter. And even if they had 
foreseen the great spread oi Mohammedanism, and all the 
baneful consequences thence, of necessity, to ensue, they 
were just then in no condition to forestall the enemy's 
attacli^ As yet Christendom was not united in the new 
Western Empire ; and when, in time, that effort of Pontifical 
statesmanship opened a new era of strength and prosperity 
to Europe, the arrogance, and afterwanls the schism, of the 
Greeks prevented any unanimous action against the en- 

♦ Tbls Chapter appeared as au article In the " Ave Maria," vul. xxvl., no. 24. 


emies of the Christian name. But in the eleventh century, 
the invasion of the Seljuk Turks, who had abandoned the 
religion of Zoroaster for Islamism, infused a Northern 
ferocity into the comparatively soft nature of the Arabs, 
and during the Pontificate of St. Gregory VII. the Crescent 
was frequently seen from the towers of Constantinople. 
From time to time Europe was horrified by accounts of the 
fearful oppression endured by the Christians of Palestine ; 
of bishops and priests being dragged from the altar to 
prison ; of brutal outrages upon persons of both sexes and 
of every age ; of the circumcision of thousands of boys, 
some to be enrolled in the army, and others to be mutilated, 
and to be assigned as guards to the seraglio. The schis- 
matic arrogance of the Greeks was compelled to yield, and 
the emperor, Michael Ducas ( Parapinax) begged for aid 
from the detested Latins. St. Gregory VII. heeded the cry, 
and although he knew that the promise was extorted by 
dire temporal necessity, and not by regard for religious 
unity, he was disposed to believe that Ducas was sincere in 
the avowed, intention to put an end to the schism. All 
Christendom was invited to raise an army for the service of 
God, and the Pontiff declared in a letter to king Henry IV. 
of Germany that he hoped, " having pacified the Normans, 
to proceed in person to Constantinople, in aid of the Chris- 
tians." (1). Fifty thousand warriors promised to follow him, 
but other interests prevailed, and the great enterprise was 
postponed, until Pope Victor III. had the satisfaction, in 
1088, of seeing the Genoese, Pisans, and other Italians, 
receive from his hands the standard of St. Peter, and set out 
to figlit for the Cross and for civilization. This first expe- 
dition to check the inroads of Mohammedanism was com- 
paratively successful. Landing in Africa, it destroyed or 
disabled more than a hundred thousand Saracens, burned a 
city, imposed tribute on a Moorish king, and returned to 
Italy with many rich spoils, which were used to decorate 
the churches of the victors. (2). But this inroad into the 

(1) KpM/fs of Sf. Grra. VTL. ii., 30. 

(2) Lko of Ostia. This Leo (Marsicanus), a Benedictine of Monteeassino, and cardinal- 
bishop of Ostia, author of a valuable history of Monteeassino, and other works, should not 
be confounded with another Leo, also a Cassinese Benedictine, who was secretary to Pooe 
UrV)i'i II . nnrl v;i'- made a cardinal-deacon by Paschal II. This mistake was made hj 
Baronio and by To.ssevin. 


domains of Islam was merely a prelude to tlie great 

The impulse to the first Crusade (1096-1100) was given 
by an obscure individual, rude in feature and in manner, 
but wlio bad been raised by solitude and prayer to such 
sanctity that he was popularly supposed to enjoy direct 
communication with Heaven Known only as Peter the 
Hermit, he left his native Amiens in 1093, and made a 
pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Touched to the q^uick b}' the 
melancholy condition of the holy places, he seemed to hear, 
while prostrate before the Holy Sepulchre, the voice of 
Jesus commanding : " Arise, Peter ; go and announce to 
My people the end of their oppression. Let M}' servants 
come, and the Holy Land shall be freed." He returned to 
Europe, and falling at the feet of Pope Urban II., he urged 
that Pontiff to carry out the design of his predecessors. 
The Pope blessed him, and commissioned him to preach a 
Orusade ; he did so throughout Europe, travelling l)are- 
footed and bareheaded, clothed in sackcloth, crucifix in 
hand, and mounted on a mule. William of Tyre (ob. about 
1180) tells us that Peter was " insignificant in person, but 
his eye was keen and pleasing, and he possessed an easy 
flow of eloquence." Everywhere he astonished people by 
his austerities, and moved their sympathies by his graphic 
picture of the woes of Palestine. He cried to sinners : 
■" Soldiers of the demon, become warriors of Christ ; " and 
all who had crimes to expiatf , or injuries to repair, seized 
on this means of reconciling themselves with God. The 
feudataries, the younger sons of reigning families (all 
trained to war, and liaving scarcely any other means of 
occupying their time), joyfully volunteered. 

While Peter was tlius engaged, there came from Constan- 
tinople letters from the Greek emperor, Alexis Comnenus, 
Ijegging aid from tiie Latins, as the "new Rome " was in 
imminent danger of falling into the hands of its enemies. 
In 1095 Urban II. convoked a Council at Piacenza to devise 
ways and means. Over 200 bishops, 4 000 priests, and 
30,000 laymen listened to the Pontiff's discourse, which was 
delivered in tlie open air. Another assembly was ordered 


to convene at Clermont in Auvergne, and, on November 18 
of the same year, 238 bishops obeyed the summons. Here 
the Pontiff made use of every argument, religious and po- 
litical, to further the cause. From his discourse, not as 
embellished by Michaud, but as it was recorded in its 
simplicity by William of Malmesbury, (1) who was present 
at its delivery, we take the following passages : 

" Go, my brothers, go with confidence to attack the 
enemies of God, who— O, shame to Christians !— are so 
long in possession of Syria and Armenia. Long ago they 
mastered all Asia Minor ; and now they have insulted us in 
Illyria and all the neighboring regions, even so far as the 
Straits of St. George. And they have done worse : they 
have robbed us of the tomb of Jesus Christ, that wonderful 
monument of our faith ; they sell to our pilgrims permission 
to enter a city which would be open to Christians alone, if 
we had only a small portion of our ancient valor. Ought 
not our facesto blush with shame ? Who, unless they envy 
the Christian glory, can suffer the indignity of not being 
able to share with the infidels at least half of the w<n-ld? 
Christians, put an end to your own misdeeds, and let con- 
cord reign among you while in these distant lands. Go, 
then, and in this most noble enterprise show the valor and 
prudence you now display in your intestine contests. Go, 
ye warriors, and your praises will everywhere be heard. 
Let the well-known bravery of the French be shown in the 
van ; followed by the allies, their very name will terrify the 
enemy .... If necessary, your bodies will redeem your 
souls. Do you, men of courage and of exemplary intre- 
pidity, fear death ? Human wickedness can invent nothing 
to injure you which is to be weighed against celestial glory. 
Do you not know that life is a misery to man, and that 
happiness is in death ? The sermons of priests have caused 
us to receive this doctrine with our mothers' milk ; and the 
martyrs, our ancestors, sustained this doctrine with their 
example .... The sanctuary of God repels the spoiler and 
the ribald, and welcomes the pious man. Let not the love 
of your relatives impede you : principally to God does man 

(1) Deeds of the Englu<h Kings, B. Iv., year 1095. 


owe his love. Let not your progress be arrested by your 
affection for your native land ; for the entire world may be 
regarded as a place of exile for Christians, and their real 
country is, just now, the entire world. Let no one remain 
at home because of his riches ; for greater wealth is prom- 
ised him — a wealth composed, not of those things w^hich 
soften our misery only with vain expectation, but of those 
which perpetual and daily instances show us to be the only 
true riches .... These things I publish and command, and 
for their execution I appoint the end of the coming spring." 
Throughout the assembly was then heard the cry which 
the Crusaders were to render famous, "God wills it! " A 
cardinal recited the formula of general confession ; all re- 
peated it, and received absolution. Ademar de Monteil, 
bishop of Puy, received the Cross as Papal legate, and this 
emblem of the Crusade was then given to nearly all the 
barons and even to many bishops. 

In the First Crusade, two different classes rushed toward 
the Holy Land — an enthusiastic, fanatical mob of worse 
than useless men, women, and children, and an equally 
enthusiastic, but disciplined, army of warriors. Pope 
Urban II. had vainly tried to temper the ardor which 
prompted the old, the infirm, and even childhood, to remain 
unsatisfied with aiding the holy cause with prayer ; he had 
vainlv ordered that women should not embark in the 
enterprise unless accompanied by husbands or brothers; 
in vain he had commanded that no monks or other ecclesi- 
astics should don the cross without permission of their 
bishops. The hermit was convinced that prayer and zeal 
were sufficient, and in disordered ranks, carrying a cross 
before them, thousands set out, feeding on charity, for the 
goal of their hopes. So long as these hordes were in 
Western Europe, their indigence was not remarkable ; but 
when they arrived at the Danube, they found the Hun- 
garians and Bulgarians hostile, and they were obliged to 
use force in order to obtain food. Finally, 100, 000 starve- 
lings reached Constantinople, where they committed such 
disorder, that Alexis was glad to transport them across the 
Bosphorus. Yery soon they fought among themselves, and' 


mearlj all of the survivors were slaiiglitered by the Islam- 
ites. But the Crusading army was of far different material, 
and was guided by competent persons. 

The first Crusade lasted from 1096 to 11^0 ; the second, 
from 1147 to 1149 ; the third, from 1189 to 1193 ; the 
fourth, from 1202 to 1204 ; the fifth and sixth, from 1218 
to 1239 ; the seventh and eight, from 1248 to 1270. Fre- 
quent attempts were afterwards made to renew these Holy 
Wars, and many isolated exjjeditions were undertaken ; but, 
■as Pomponne, minister of Louis XIV.. remarked to Leib- 
nitz, •' since the time of St. Louis, such things have been 
-out of fashion." Bacon wrote a dialogue on the Holy War. 
Mazarin left 600, 000 livres to help a Crusade The famous 
friar Joseph, the Franciscan counsellor of Eichelieu, com- 
T)osed on this subject a Latin poem, which Pope Urban 
YIII. called the Christian ^ueid. In 1670 I eibnitz tried 
to induce Louis XIV. to conquer Egypt, and in his design, 
reduced to writing, he said : " Then Europe will rest, will 
cease to tear her own bowels, and will fix her attention 
where she may find honor, victory, advantage, and wealth, 
with a good conscience, and in a manner pleasing to God. 
Then men will not rival one another in robbery, but in re- 
ducing the power of the hereditary foe ; each one will 
strive to extend, not his own kingdom, but that of Christ 
.... Let us suppose that the emperor, Poland, and Sweden, 
proceed together against the barbarians, and seek to widen 
the limits of Christendom, having no other designs, and 
fearing no enemies in their rear : how the blessing of God 
would show itself in favor of so just a cause ! On the other 
hand, England and Denmark would find themselves in front 
■of North, and Spain before South America ; Holland, before 
the West Indies. France is destined by Providence to be 
the guide to Christian armies in the East, to give to Chris- 
tendom her Godfreys, her Baldwins, and espedally her SS. 
Louis, who will invade that Africa just opposite her shores, 
to destroy a nest of pirates and to conquer Egypt— she 
wants neither the soldiers nor the money necessary to be- 
come the mistress of that land .... Behold a 'way to 
•acquire a lasting glory, a tranquil conscience, universal ap- 


plause, certain victory, immense advantages. Then will be 
attained that hope of the philosopher, that men will make 
war only on wolves and other wild beasts, to which the 
barbarians and infidels may now be compared." (1) 

Those who desire, in the matter of the Crusades, details 
of fact, causes, and efi'ects, should consult the Deeds of 
God through the Franks, by William of Tyre, and the History 
written by the imperial Anna Comnena. Among moderns, 
he may read with profit the Sf>irit of the Crusades, by De 
Maillet, and the History of the Crusades, by Michaud, 
which, although fall of prejudice, is the most complete of 
;ill works on this subject. Much information may also be 
gained from the Life of Innocerd III., by Hurter ; and from 
Prat's Peter the Hermit and the First Crumde. The French 
Academy of Inscriptions published, in 1841, a collection of 
all the Latin, Greek, and Oriental liistorians of the Crusades; 
the Greek portion being composed of fragments from the 
writings of Nicephorus Briennus, Anna Comnena, Nicetas 
Coniates, John Pliocas, and Michael Attaliates. As for the 
modern English authors who have written on the Crusades, 
some are pretentious, few recommendable. Of all who, in 
any language, have treated this subject, Cantii is the most 
impartial, and by far the most appreciative of the spirit 
which prompted and sustained one of the most salient 
features of the Middle Ages ; he will also fully satisfy 
the reader's curiosity as to chivalry, tournaments, " courts 
of love," the oaths customary at the time, the military 
religious orders, the trovatori, — an acquaintance with all 
of which matters will greatly facilitate a comprehension of 
the events of the Crusades. 

Many causes have contributed to an unjust appreciation of 

(1) Disscrlatinn tiy (iiihrauer. in Mcmnircx i>f t)u- Institute at' Fr(nic(\\o\. I.— Cnntii 
nprees witli I.i'ilmiiz : "Supinist' Itial the lion of St. Maik ami the ilrajron of St. (ieorge 
lia<i tiiadi- a iM'itriancnt tioinc on the banks of the Hosiiliorus, the Jontan. and the Tijriis. 
A civilized |io|iulatliin would now enjfiy that beauty whi'-h nf old made them envied cen- 
tres of cdUure ; Seleiicia. Aniiocli. Itau<lad, would he the I.niidon and rari.sof Asia ; where 
now a |)asha. witli llnil and scimitar, lends the iienjiles before the caprices of a despot, and 
wliere tlie l?eilouins practise mbtiery and piracy with iiiipiiiiitv. would now llourish irovern- 
uients foimileil in order and liliertv : from the mosl lieaiitifiil cjly under the sun would 
How streams of culture and of love over Asia and Kuropc, uniUMt in alTection and in prop- 
ri'ss to improve tlie North, and spread th" HlMiI <if truth In the heart of Afrii-a and in the- 
farthest retrio:;s of the Kast. If a hermit had not raised that cry. if the I'opes ha<i not takei*. 
It iii>. the irrowinL' civilization of Kmope wonl'l have soccumbed to the Araiis ; t|i<' relie'on 
of love and of lllierty would have yielded up our countries to one of blood and of slavery, 
iMid ovcT the l)eautlfid lands of Italy and France woulil reitrn a brutal don. •.•-■f jc .•;;i,| jKili- 
td-il iraiinv. a luiUKhiy Immobility, a. fatal indllTereuce, a sysiematlj li.,''Uurunce." 


the value of the Crusades, but thej may all be referred to 
the difficulty experienced by the average modern mind in 
appreciating the spirit of the Middle Ages. Add to this 
the fact that these Holy Wars were pre-eminently the work 
of the Komau Pontiffs, and therefore a natural object of 
carping criticism to all the foes of Catholicism, and you 
will be surprised when you find, now and then, a Protes- 
tant or an infidel writer who can see in them aught else 
than cruel injustice to both Christian and Islamite : or at 
best, anything better than sublime folly. In defending the 
policy that prompted these Crusades, in upholding their 
justice, in contending that they were necessary, humanly 
speaking, to the very existence of Christianity, we do not 
apologize for each and every action of their leaders, or of 
the rank and file of their participants ; it is but too true 
that, as in other noble designs, many of the instruments 
were found to be full of flaws. We must distinguish the 
motives of the Crusaders. The Popes, most of the kinga 
and princes, and nearly all the leaders who took part in 
these expeditions, were impelled by the desire of banishing 
the infidel from the places sanctified by the life and death 
of the God-Man. — by the desire of freeing a Christian 
people from a slavery that was cruel to the body and threat- 
ening to the soul. They felt the necessity of arresting the 
progress of an inexorable and barbarous enemy, who men- 
aced that Christian civilization which the Catholic Church 
had developed in nearly the whole, and was then planting 
in the rest, of Europe ; they knew that the most efficacious 
means of doing this was by carrying war into Asia and 
Africa, by convincing Islam that Christendom could fight 
as well as pray. These motives were certainly noble. But 
among the masses, while the religious motive undoubtedly 
predominated with the immense majority, S(^ tliat it may 
truly be said to have furnished the life and soul of the 
expeditions, other motives were sometime? mingled — some 
of them base, some indifferent. Many who groaned at 
home under the feudal system hoped to find another lot 
awaiting them in the East : some were impelled by a 
curiosity to see those lands about which pilgrims had told 


sucli wonderful stories ; some, uudoubtedly, were incited 
by mere love of adventure. If these latter classes were 
guilty of excesses — nay, if even some of the leaders acted 
more like condoitieri than like soldiers of Christ, — the good 
name of the cause should not suffer. 

Those who affect horror at the sacrifice of two millions 
of Christian lives during the two centuries of the Crusades, 
do not, as a general thing, descant upon the great loss of 
life that purely secular wars have entailed, and yet entail, 
upon mankind. And how great is the difference between 
these and the Holy Wars, both as to causes and effects ! 
In the former, in nearly every case, men are taken from 
their firesides to kill and be killed, without knowing the 
reason for it ; in the latter, they knew, thoroughly ap- 
preciated, and heartily applauded the reason. But, we are 
told, this knowledge, this appreciation, was that of super- 
stition, and the hope of success was a folly. The Crusaders 
were certainly guilty of superstition, if a vivid and life- 
sacrificing devotion to one's faith, if a hearty reverence for 
everything connected with that faith, be superstition- we 
need not here pause to show that Christianity, felt and out- 
wardly professed, is not superstition. 

But what about the folly of these wars? Not that 
supernatural effervescence which is known as the folly of 
the Cross — for if that be understood, the Crusades icere a 
iolly — but a sheer absurdity is here intended. Well, now 
that the holy fever is at an end, and we can calmlj' criticise 
each and every one of its symptoms and consequences, 
many errors of management are discoverable ; but at the 
time the attack on the strongholds of Islam was decreed, 
every reason, military and political, could be adduced for 
the success of the project. Common sense assured the 
Western nations that the Byzantine sovereign, bearing the 
first brunt of the Mussulman attack, would cordiall}' and 
gratefully assist the enterprise ; who could have foreseen 
the insane treachery of the entire schismatic tribe ? 

But what of the justice of the Crusades? The Islamites 
were pronounced religious and political enemies of the 
European nation.s. It was of the very essence of their 


religion — and too well did they practise it — to spread their 
faith by fire and sword, to enjoy the earth and its fulness. 
They had already subjugated the once flourishing Christian 
states of the East, and in many of them had almost de- 
stroyed every vestige of the Christian religion ; they had 
conquered a great part of the Iberian Peninsula ; they had 
devastated a large portion of Italy, and, for a time, had even 
threatened France ; in fine, to the Mussulman every war 
against a Christian state or community was holy. Where 
was the injustice of warring against such a race of men? 
Consider also that war, and war to the knife, was the only 
means by which Europe could save herself from barbar- 
ism, her women from degradation, her children from slavery. 
Our age afi'ects to detest mere sentiment, and is pre-emi- 
nently utilitarian. For this very reason it should admire 
the Crusades. The first great advantage they brought to 
Europe was frequent internal peace where intestine war 
had been the order of the day ; the Christian swords, that 
had so often crossed one another in unworthy strife, were 
now turned against the common enemy of the Christian 
altar and of every Christian government. The Normans 
and other ferocious Northerners, who would have impeded 
the progress of civilization along the shores of the Baltic 
and the German Ocean, found an outlet for their warlike 
enthusiasm in distant Asia; and "this expedition" (the 
second Crusade), says Krantz, " at least effected the freeing 
of Germany from a set of men who lived by robbing 
others." (1). Many a district hitherto living in awe of 
some petty tyrant, who, like an eagle from his eyry, had 
been wont to pounce down upon it on an errand of rapine, 
thanked the campaigns of Asia and Africa for afi'ordiug 
such men an opportunity of satisfying their tastes away 
from home. Thousands of serfs, by taking the Cross, threw 
off the yoke of what was little less than slavery ; for the 
Crusader became a servant of God and of the Church, and 
a freeman. Strangers who took up their abode in the do- 
mains of some petty lord used to become his serfs : now 
the pilgrim was sacred. , 

(1; Sax., c. 13. 


Industry was advanced by means of the Crusades. The 
silks of Damascus were coveted by the Westerns, and Pa- 
lermo, Lucca, Modena, and Milan became noted for the fab- 
rics they wove for the lords and ladies who were no longer 
satisfied with the skins of beasts for clothing. The glass- 
ware of Tyre was introduced by the Venetians, and soon the 
ingenious sons of the Eepublic manufactured the beautiful 
and delicate crystals which have given its artisans celebrity 
to our own day. Windmills, till then not known in Europe, 
were copied from those in Asia Minor, where they were 
necessary, owing to the want of running waters. The gold- 
smith's art received an impetus from the numerous relics 
and gems brought from the Orient, and which had to be 
richly set and mounted. 

Another advantage of the Crusades was the better admin- 
istration of justice ; when intestine war had become rare, 
order reappeared ; the great ones of the earth commenced 
to consider their followers as their dependents, and not as 
their slaves ; for these inferiors were now freed from local 
servitude, and began to unlearn the customs of hereditary 
selfdom. Government was better developed ; communes 
and republics came into existence, and elevated public over 
private power. The common people, during the long absen- 
ces of the lords, depended upon the superior power of 
the kings ; and thus was prepared, for the ultimate good of 
the nation, the fall of feudalism. 

Still another good effect of the Crusades is thus de- 
scribed by Cantu : In the fragmentary society of feudalism, 
each one's country was bounded by the hedge that enclosed 
his field ; it was expensive and dangerous to cross the bridge 
that spanned the neighboring little torrent, in sight of the 
castle of the next proprietor. But suddenly the barriers 
fall, and whole nations enter on roads hitherto closed. Tlien 
the Northerners beheld in Italy the relics of ancient, and 
the commencement of a new, civilization ; at Bologna they 
heard lectures on the Pandects ; at Salerno and Montecas- 
sino they attended medical academies ; at Thessalonica they 
visited schools of fine art ; at Constantinople they inspected 
libraries and museums. James de Vitry expresses his 


wonder at fiudin<^ the Italians ' secret iu council, diligent, 
studious of public utility, careful for the future, detesting 
the yoke of another, ardent defenders of their liberties. 
In Sicily and in Venice, whither they came to embark, they 
found more regular forms of government, and their astonish- 
ment on seeing all the citizens of Venice convoked to give 
assent to the decrees of the doge, inspired ideas of a liberty 
very different from that known in the North. When they 
were established on the new soil, they gave attention to a 
proper jurisprudence, which should not be imposed by force, 
but should be discussed by the reason of nations who 
deemed themselves equal, and who desired their own real 
advancement. The ' Assizes ' that were then compiled be- 
came models for princes and communes ; St. Louis profited 
by them for his Estahlishments, and perhaps the English 
found in them the idea of their boasted jury. From the 
method of gathering tithes, then imposed by the Church, 
kings learned a regular system of taxes, which, if they be- 
came perpetual, at least ceased to be arbitrary and multifold.' 
With reference to the effects which the Crusades pro- 
duced on the arts and letters of Europe, the same author 
says: "Since it is certain that the Crusades retarded the 
fall of Constantinople, I believe that literature profited by 
them ; for Europe was not yet sufficiently mature to receive 
the classics there preserved, as she did in the fifteenth cen- 
tury. In fact, of two rich libraries wdiich then perished, 
no chronicler makes any mention, of so little account were 
they deemed; masterpieces of art were brutally ruined, 
unless when the Italians, especially the Venetians, preserved 
them to decorate their own cities. Look at Pisa, Genoa? 
and the Norman edifices in Italy, and you will find them 
rich in columns and statues transferred from the East, — a 
fact which reveals a resurrection of the sentiment of the 
beautiful, and explains the sudden development of the arts 
among us. Literature came forth from the sanctuary, when 
all took part in universal enterprise ; style was elevated, 
when history passed from municipal events to prodigies of 
valor ; poetry found in reality that at which, by luere 
imagination, it would never have arrived " (1). 

(1) Univ. Hint., B. xil., •• 18. 


The Crusades were also of great benefit to commerce. 
The commercial cities of Italy made immense profits by 
transporting warriors and pilgrims ; and they obtained great 
privileges in the conquered lands, establishing banks in 
Syria and along the Ionian and the Black Seas. Then be- 
gan the commercial prosperity of what are now Belgium 
and Holland, of the south of France, of Bremen and Lubeck. 
Citizens became wealthy, and were soon so powerful that 
they were able to exact rights and privileges. The sugar- 
cane, used b}- the Crusaders at Lebanon to assuage their 
terrible thirst, was transplanted to Sicily, thence carried b}- 
the Saracens to Granada, and from there taken by the 
Spaniards to America. Europe became acquainted with 
alum, indigo, and many other valuable drugs and spices ; 
afterward, while engaged in a search for a quick passage 
to the land that produced them, an Italian navigator dis- 
covered a new world. 

The Crusades failed of their main object — the freedom of 
the Holy Land, — but they checked the progress of Moham- 
medanism, and permitted the continuance of the work of 
civilization in Europe. They need no apology ; had the}- 
fully succeeded, Europe, Asia, and Africa would now, in all 
probability, be entirely Christian. Their main idea was 
both politic and just. It was certainly good policy to give 
rest to a state by transporting its disturbers beyond the 
seas, to turn this fury against the barbarians. It was 
certainly just to combat a ferocious people, an arti(;le of 
whose religion was to exterminate Christians, and who had 
already ravaged all Southern Europe. 


The Truce of God.* 

Among the many institutions of the Middle Ages which 
may well claim the attention of the student, one of the most 
interesting is the " Truce of God." During the first period 
of feudalism — unless we except the reigns of the Gothic 

* This Chapter appeared as an articli- In the Ave Mmui, vol. xxv., no. iJ. 


Tlieodoric, the Lombard Liiitprand, and the Frank Charle- 
magne, — the want of an arranging hand, of a competent 
ordaining authority, is plainly felt. Only this absence, says 
the judicious Semichon, can explain the terrible, even 
though exceptional, barbarities of that time. Heruli, Goths, 
Vandals, Lombards, Franks, Visigoths, Huns, Danes, Sax- 
ons, and Normans, had overthrown the Western empire, 
and the miserable populations knew no human power but 
that of the sword ; they rejoiced, in fact, when some one 
barbarian was sufficiently strong to crush his rivals, and to 
give society that kind of rest which comes from the rule of 
a single tyrant. When one reads the horrible descriptions 
of such a chronicler as Glaber Kudolphus (1040)— narratives 
not only of wholesale murder and universal rapine, but of 
cannibalism and ghoulism, — he does not wonder that duels 
and private war§ became the means by which society, in 
the first period of the Middle Ages, tried to preserve the 
rights which civil government failed to secure it. In the 
feudal system of that day, remarks Cantii, " there being no 
confidence, recourse was more willingly had to such guar- 
antees as were conformable to the condition of society ; and 
duels and private wars became a necessity in such a state 
of affairs." 

However, society benefited little by the introduction of 
such remedies for its woes. Brute force remained its guid- 
ing influence ; and no matter under Avhat guise it may be 
exercised, brute force is conducive neither to civilization 
nor happiness. On every side were anarchy and chaos, and 
not unfrequently men imagined that the days of Antichrist 
were at hand. But if the abomination of desolation was 
nearly everywhere visible, the mercy of God was about to 
cut short its work of destruction. There remained on 
earth one power which men really revered, — one power, the 
influence of which was moral, and was therefore felt not 
merely by the lower liature of man, but by his mind and 
soul. Lombard and Italian : Frank and Roman ; Gaul, Van- 
dal, and African ; Visigoth and Iberian ; Saxon and Nor- 
man and Briton ; all alike — barbarous and cultured — re- 
spected the Catholic Church. In that period, which, despite 


its failings, was pre-eminently an age of faitli, the influence 
of religion was paramount over the most terrible warriors 
and the most unmitigated tyrants. This, then, was the 
power which was to bring order out of choas ; this Church 
of God, which had but lately converted the barbaric hordes, 
and had begun the work of forming a new society on the 
ruins of the old, was about to appeal to the Christian 
sentiments of her new children, and to give a new life to 
the world. 

But how was the Church to insure obedience to her in- 
junctions ? In her mission of protecting society, of sub- 
stituting government for anarchy, how could she hope to 
succeed where even the sword— that generally successful 
argument over the purely natural man — had shown itself to 
be of no avail ? But the Church possessed a weapon more 
powerful than the sword— the power of excommunication, 
— an arm which, as Semichon rightly observes, has been 
the origin of all modern social progress ; for it convinced 
ihe barbarian that force could not prevail over right. It 
must be admitted that individual prelates — generally those 
who were the products of that system of royal " investiture" 
which the niediseval Pontiffs combated — often launched 
ecclesiastical censure for their own unworthy purposes ; but 
such were exceptional cases. Still, as a rule, whenever 
this weapon was adopted in causes not purely religious, it 
was used in the interest of humanity. The Church had 
determined to convince her converts from Paganism that 
men might be of various conditions in the social scale, but 
that they were all equally obliged to revere and defend the 
right, and to uphold the good of society. Starting on her 
mission to abolish the state of universal warfare around 
her, the Church of the tenth century continued to preach 
the Gospel of peace : but she also began to construct a 
social edifice, and she defended her work with her peculiar 

Tlie first step toward the introduction of the Truce of 
God was taken in 988. Gondebald, archbishop of Aqui- 
taine, in a Council of his suffragans at Charroux, pronounced 
inathema against all who robbed farmers or the poor of 


their flocks, or destroyed implements of husbandry. Many 
■other Councils prosecuted the same object, and soon the 
prelates began to inveigh against the arrogance and tyranny 
which the lords, botli great and small, were wont to exercise 
toward the weak, especially toward monasteries, peddlers, 
and rustics. Excommunication, and even interdict — that 
most depressing of all punishments to those who were not 
lost to all sense of religion (1) — were often launched against 
the titled ruffians who formed the higher society of the day. 
The influence of these clerical assemblies was exerted, too, 
against other social evils than robbery and like forms of 
license. Their efforts were also directed to prevent the 
recurrence of war. Our modern philanthropists, who 
periodically hold a Congress of Peace, in the vain hope of 
inducing rival governments to reduce their monstrous 
standing armies, and thus diminish the burdens of the tax- 
payer, should cease to extol the nineteenth century as 
having originated the idea of arbitration. At the time of 
which we write, the cities of Narbonne, Limoges, Sucilanges 
■d' Auvergne, Poitiers, and many others, had Synods which 
put that idea into practice. The nobles were conjured and 
■commanded to swear, on the relics of the saints, that, when 
differences arose between them, they would not have re- 
course to arms until they had first tried to arrive at a 
pacific understanding in the presence of their respective 

Such movements, however, were only the first attempts 
to satisfy the aspirations of a society satiated with blood- 
shed. According to Glaber Eudolphus (b. 5, c. 1), the year 
1051 saw Aquitaine in the full enjoyment of '' The Peace 
and the Truce of God," and in a short time the institution 
spread throughout France. The " Peace " exempted from 
all the evils of war all churches, clergymen, monasteries 
and convents, cemeteries ; women, children, pilgrims, hus- 
bandmen ; all implements of agriculture, and all farmers' 

(1) And to those, also, whose religious sentiments were dead or dormant: for during an 
interdict, says Hurler, " music and festivity, assemblies of all kinds, all ornaments, and 
frequently even the ordinary cares of the body, disappeared. A universal fast was ob- 
served, all business ceased, and no communication was held with those who were deemed 
unworthy to belorig to Christian society." In such a state of affairs, it is no wonder that 
" the revenues of the suzerain suffered a notable diminution, owing to the paralj'sls fallen 
•on every industry." — Life of Innocent TIL, vol. 1., B. i. 


cattle, fields, vineyards, etc. The " Truce " directly tended 
to habituate to a peaceful life men to whom war was as 
their life-breath ; to give time, at any rate, for angry pas- 
sions to subside ; to allow sober second-thought entrance 
into minds which acted too readily on impulse, 

Realizing the inopportuneness, nay the futility, of an 
entire prohibition of war (1), the Church contented herself 
with forbidding it during Advent, Lent, and on the greater 
festivals. Then, when men had formed the habit of check- 
ing their angry passions, and of suspending their satisfac- 
tion, the limits of the " Truce" were extended. Four days 
of the week were consecrated to peace ; for the " Truce " 
went into effect every Wednesday evening, and terminated 
only with the Sunday, Nor was war entirely forbidden 
merely during Advent and Lent : the Christmas season was 
soon added to the former, and the whole Paschal time to 
the latter. The reader will perceive that this salutary 
" Truce " covered, if the feasts be also considered, more 
than two-thirds of the year. In carrying out this beautiful 
idea, the Church found a powerful auxiliary in the chivalry 
of Christendom — that association which, according to Semi- 
chon, has given us a synonym for much that is noble and 
grand in human relations. Christian warfare assumed a 
character of justice and humanity it had never before known,, 
and then was recognized a right the existence of which Pa- 
ganism ignored — the right of the weak to be respected by 
the strong, 

Glaber Rudolphus, who had witnessed the development 
of the Truce of God, writes as follows : " At this period 
divine grace initiated a movement which was founded on 
the love and fear of God, first in Aquitaine, and by degrees 
in every part of Gaul. From the evening of Wednesday 
until the dawn of Monday, no man should presume to offer 
any violence to another, or to exact satisfaction from any 
enemy whomsoever, or even to demand forfeiture from a 

(1) Modern philanthropists, forKettintr that God often commandfd war to he waped, tell 
us thiit war Is the preatest nf evils. (Joii ordenMl a war of cxlerMiiiial ini! iti the case of the 
Canaatiites, a civil war apaiiist the lU'ii.iaiiiiles, and a rclitrious war apaiiist Aiitiodius. 
Accordiiiir to St Thomas, tlic yicat evil of mail and of .society is not plivsical sMfferinir. tnit 
nioial disorder. In accordance with th<' claims of moral order, the ruler of a state pro- 
tects the honor of (ind from Insult, watches over tlie put>lic weal, and shields the weak and 
the poor from the oppression of tlie preat and stronp. (2a Use, q. 40, art. 1.) 


security. If any one did any of these things he was 
forced to compound for his life, or was banished from the 
land, and made an alien in Christian society. This system 
was commonly styled the Truce of God. It was upheld not 
only by human safeguards : very frequently it was sanc- 
tioned by the terrors of divine interference ; for quite often, 
when maddened audacity had transgressed the law, either 
God's indignation showed itself, or the sword of man pun- 
ished the crime. It would be impossible for us to adduce 
all the instances of God's manifestations of His approval of 
this institution. And such manifestations might have been 
expected ; for as the Lord's Day is venerated because of 
His resurrection, so the fifth, sixth, and seventh days ought 
to be free from evil deeds, on account of reverence for the 
Lord's Supper and His Passion." 

Orderic (Vitalis) informs us that in the year 1080 (1) 
William the Conqueror sanctioned a law passed by the 
bishops and barons at a Synod of Isle Bonne, whereby the 
'' Peace and Truce " were promulgated in Normandy and 
England. The decree reads: " Let the ' Peace,' commonly 
styled the Truce of God, be strictly observed, as Prince 
William ordered in the beginning ; and let it be renewed 
in every parish, under pain of excommunication. If any 
person contemns it, or violates it in any way, the bishop will 
do justice according to the laws now in force. If any one 
disobeys his bishop, that prelate will inform the lord of the 
territory, and that lord will subject the culprit to the epis- 
copal justice. But if the lord should neglect this, his duty, 
the bishop will recur to the viscount of the king, who will 
ignore every excuse, and will attend to the affair." In 1060 
count Raymond Berengarius, of Barcelona, published the 
'' Truce " in his dominions. In 1095 Pope Urban II. and 
the Synod of Clermont, and in 1102 Pope Paschal II., con- 
firmed these decrees of William and Raymond. In 1102 
William, archbishop of Auchel and apostolic legate, pro- 
mulfrated the " Truce " in his province, in accordance with 
the statutes of Urban IL Finally, in 1139, the Tenth 
Gr-neral Council (Second of the Lateran) gave, in its Canon 

(1) Hist. Eccl., B. V. 


XL, the official approbation of the Universal Church to one 
of the most beneficial institutions of the Middle Ages. 

But, the reader may ask, in thus promulgating the Truce 
of God, did not the Church arrogate to herself a power 
which belongs only to the civil authority ? Well, we reply, 
with Semichon, where and what was the civil authority at 
that time ? The Church has never been disposed to en- 
croach upon the province of legitimate and competent civil 
government, and she has always restrained her clergy when 
intemperate zeal has led them to pass the limits of their 
■own jurisdiction. But at the time of which we wa-ite, hu- 
man law was almost entirely ignored, and it became not 
merely the right but the duty of the Church to remind men 
of their obligations, and to use her God-given powers to 
secure their observance. For more than half a century 
illustrious men have been en Teavoring, by appealing to 
justice, compassion, and interest, (1), to put an end to 
war ; but in spite of their zealous apostolate, the latter 
half of this " thinking " nineteenth century has seen 
standing armies doubled in number, public debts increased 
beyond measure. The self-constituted, impartial arbitra- 
tors speak to the deaf ; public opinion demands peace, but 
cannot obtain it. The impotency of mere philanthropy 
to effect lasting good in society is here made evident. 
And how much more easy is this modern task, which 
philanthrophy has assumed, than the one essayed and 
executed by the Church when she abolished private warfare i 
Philanthropy vainly struggles for universal peace among 
nations already civilized and cultured. On the contrary, 
the abolition of private war was undertaken by the Church, 
during an epoch of barbarism and confusion, among thou- 
sands of haughty and untamed barons, whose sole wealth 
was booty, whose sole hope of aggrandizement was con- 
quest; and nevertheless, the Church succeeded in this, as 
in all of her endeavors to mollify the dispositions of the 
human wolves whr)m she was appointed to save. It wns 
the Abbe Saint-Pierre, in the last century, who first 

(1) When some of these apostles of iH'ucf waltt'il on Kintr Louis Philippe, he flinraoter- 
Istlcally eiicourairt'd them.sayinir, " War Is so expensive iiowailavs tlial the clvlllzefi world 
may hope to soon see the last of It." And since his time I 


inspired men with the conception of a " universal peace," 
and tbe famous cardinal Fleury styled his hope *' a dream 
of a worthy man." Certainly, outside of the Catholic idea, 
independently of the idea of God — and the Congresses of 
Peace have hitherto ignored it — permanent peace among 
nations is a vain aspiration. 


Ninth General Council : First of the Lateran. 

When Pope Calixtus II. found that at length the 
■emperor Henry V. was willing to relinquish his claim to 
investitures, he addressed him a congratulatory letter, and 
prayed him to send, as soon as possible, his " orators " to 
Pome, that they might represent him at the General Coun 
cil then being prepared. " Come therefore, my dear son, " 
he said ; " mayest thou rejoice in us, and we in thee, in the 
Lord ! May thy imperial excellency reflect upon the 
great harm that has been caused to the faithful of Europe 
by the discord between the Church and the empire, and 
upon the great increase of good that will accrue to them, 
with the help of the Lord, from our concord .... In regard 
to those tilings that thou hast committed to thy faithful 
-embassadors, to be communicated to us by word of mouth, 
we shall inform thee, by the same means, of what seems 
proper to us and our brethren. Commending, then, to thy 
benevolence those our legates who are now with thee, we 
ask that thou wilt, the Lord granting, send them quickly 
to us, as the Council convoked by us is at hand. So in- 
struct, however, thy own embassadors, that, according to 
thy promise, they may fully restore her regalia to the 
Roman Church." Baronio assigns the year 1122 as the 
•date of the Ninth General Council, but Cossart observes 
that the year 112.3 must be the correct date, since Suger of 
St. Denis says that he attended the Council as abbot of 
St. Denis, "the year after his elevation," and we know 
-that his predecessor, Adam, died in 1122. Again, Robert 
■de Monte and Falco of Benevento give 1123 as the date. 


All previous General Councils having been held in the 
East, the Eoman Pontiffs had presided over them by means- 
of their legates. In this Ninth Council, held in the Lateran 
basilica, and hence called " the First of the Lateran," Pope 
Calixtus II. presided in person. Over 300 bishops and 
nearly 700 abbots attended. (1). When the imperial ora- 
tors had been heard, so great was the joy of the prelates 
on perceiving that the question of investitures was finally 
terminated, that many of them applied to Henry's embas- 
sadors the scriptural words "how beautiful the feet of 
those who announce good things." The Council theu 
confirmed the compact of Worms, thus definitely restoring 
the concord between Church and empire. 

The prelates then turned their attention to the formation, 
and issuing of Canons for the restoration of ecclesiastical 
discipline, and for the encouragement of the Crusades in 
Palestine and in Spain. The business of the Council was 
transacted in two sessions, and twenty-two Canons were 
promulgated. The First Canon prohibits all simoniacal 
ordinations or promotions, under pain of loss of the grade 
or dignity obtained, and is taken, word for word, from a 
Canon of the Synod of Toulouse, celebrated under Calixtus 
II., in 1119. The Second Canon, also taken from those of 
Toulouse, orders that provosts, arch-priests, and deans be 
taken from the ranks of the priesthood ; archdeacons to be 
selected from among the deacons. The Third, taken from 
the Canons of Nice, interdicts to priests, deacons, and sub- 
deacons all concubinage or use of married life, or residence 
in the same household with any woman not one's mother, 
sister, aunt, or sucli as concerning whom " there can arise 
no just suspicion." The Foarfh prohibits, as sacrilege, all 
princes or any laymen from giving away the possessions of 
the Church. The Fi/fJi condemns as infamous certain mar- 
riages of persons related by blood. The Sixth degrades all 
those who were ordained or consecrated by the anti-Pope 
Bordino (Gregory VIII.), or by persons consecrated by him. 
The Seventh prohibits, under pain of excommunication, any 
provost, archpriest, archdeacon, or dean, from conferring a 

n) Su<?ersny.s there were more than 300 bishops, ami Pandulph- says there were ASM",, 
partly bishops and partly abbots. 


benefice without the sauctiou of his bishop. The Eighth 
excommunicates all invaders of the Papal principality of 
Benevento ; that district, owing to its isolation from the 
Roman States, being liable to suffer from the periodical 
wars of Southern Italy. The Ninth ordains that no bishop 
shall communicate with a person excommunicated by an- 
other prelate. The Tenth and Eleventh grant indulgences 
to Crusaders and to all who aid their enterprise ; they 
receive their families and properties under the protection 
of St. Peter, excommunicating all who injure them ; they 
order all who have assumed the cross, and have neglected 
to join the Crusaders in Palestine or Spain, to do so within 
a year, under pain of anathema, and interdict all sacred 
offices excepting baptism and penance, at the hour of death, 
in the dominions of all princes and lords who are delin- 
quent in this matter. The Twelfth abolishes the right, 
hitherto exercised, and probably usurped, by the Prefect 
of Rome, to seize the goods left, at his death, by an intestate 
Porticanus. For many centuries there had been established, 
for strangers, a number of porticoes, in the district reaching 
from St. Paul's to the city walls, and in that now known as 
ihe Borgo, extending from St. Peter's to the castle of St. 
Angelo (1). These strangers were called Porticani, and the 
Prefect of Rome, a vassal of the emperor down to the time 
of Innocent III., had usurped a special jurisdiction over 
them. By the twelfth Canon Pope Calixtus took a step 
toward the relegation of the Prefect to his proper place, 
-and Pope Innocent III. (el. 1198), took the last step when 
he forced the Prefect to receive, instead of a sword from 
the emperor, a mantle from his own Pontifical hands, by 
way of investiture, thus doing away with the last shadow 
of the imperial pretence to suzerainty. The Thirteenth ex- 
communicates the violators of the "Truce of God." The 
Fourteenth prohibits laymen from appropriating offerings 
made to the Church, and from regarding churches as part 
of their domains. The Fifteenth anathematizes coiners and 
circulators of false money, as oppressors of the poor and 
■disturbers of the state. The Sixteenth excommunicates all 

(1) Procopius; Gothic War, B. il. 


who molest pilgrims to Kome or other holy places, or who- 
exact tolls from them. The Seventeenth prohibits monks 
from administering the Sacraments to the sick, and from 
singing public masses : " Following in the footsteps of the 
holy fathers, we establish by this general decree, that 
monks shall be subject, in all humility, to their respective 
bishops ; and that they shall show, in all things, due and 
devoted obedience to the bishops, as to the teachers and 
pastors of the Church of God. They shall never celebrate 
solemn public masses. Let them entirely abstain from 
public visitation of the sick, from anointing, and from pen- 
ance ; for these things are not at all in their province. In 
the churches where they are allowed to officiate, they will 
receive, from the hands of their bishop, priests who shall 
be answerable to him for their care of souls." The Eigh- 
teenth orders that the bishops appoint all pastors ; that they 
who receive tithes, or take charge of churches, at the hands 
of laymen, without the consent of their bishop, be visited 
with canonical punishment. The Nineteenth confirms the 
custom, originated in the time of St. Gregory VII., of mon- 
asteries and their churches contributing to the support 
of Cliurch and state. The Ticpniieth excommunicates all 
who molest ecclesiastical persons or goods, or peasants 
and laborers attached to the service of churches or monas- 
teries. The Tiventy-jirst is a repetition of the Tliird Canon. 
The Twenty-second declares null and void all alienations of 
property belonging to the church of Eavenna, and reiterates 
the sentence already passed against the simoniacally or- 
dained or consecrated. 


-The Tenth General Council : Second of the Lateran. 

This Council was convoked by Pope Innocent II. for 
three purposes : to remedy the evils caused by the schism 
of Peter Leonis, to corademn the heresies of Peter de Bruis- 
and Arnold of Brescia, and to draw morn tiglitly the reins 


of ecclesiastical discipline. The Council was opened on 
April 8th, 1139, and was attended by about a thousand 
bishops. (1). "We give a summary of the teachings of the 
Petrobruisians, as recorded by the venerable Peter of 
Cluny, in a letter to the archbishop of Aries and other 
prelates. Peter de Bruis first disseminated his errors in 
the province of Aries, about 1120. He denied that baptism 
was of any use, when administered to a person not yet 
arrived at the use of reason ; for, said he, " he who believer, 
and is baptized, shall be saved." He contended that no 
temples be built for divine worship ; that those existing 
should be razed to the ground or devoted to other pur- 
poses, because " God hears one pray in a tavern as well 
as in a church ; as well before a stable as before an altar." 
He taught that the crucifix should be broken to pieces and 
burnt, because '' that instrument by which Christ was sO' 
cruelly tortured, on which He was so cruelly killed, is 
unworthy of any veneration ; rather should it be treated 
with every contumely, cut with knives, given to the flames, 
in revenge for Christ's suffering and death." He not only 
denied the Real Presence of our Li»rd in the Eucharist, but 
he asserted that it is nothing whatever, and should not be 
offered to God " He ridiculed all sacrifice, prayer, alms, 
etc., offered for the dead, and said that " not in the least can 
they help a soul departed." He rejected tradition and the 
authority of the Fathers. These errors, and those of 
Arnold, were condemned by the Tenth Council in its Twen- 
ty-third Canon, couched in these terms : " Those who, 
simulating the appearance of piety, reject the Sacrament of 
the Lord's Body and Blood, the baptism of infants, the 
priesthood and other Holy Orders, and legitimate mar- 
riage, we expel, as heretics, from the Church of God, and 
condemn them ; and we command that they be coerced by 
the civil power. We include their defenders in the same 

In its Thirtieth Canon, the Council decreed that all wha 
had been ordained or consecrated by Peter Leonis (2) and 

CD Otho of Frisin'gen, Chrnnicle, B. vli., c. 23. Chronicle of Bencvcntn. 

(8) Oil the death of Honorius II., in 1130, a cardinal named Peter (styled Li^onis after his- 
irrvidfp.ther Leo, a wealthy and influential Jewi compassed his own election hy a faction^ 
after the legitimate proclamation of the cardinal Gregory dei Mattel as Innocent II. The 


liis followers should be debarred from the exercise of their 
order. The disciplinary Canons are twenty-eight in num- 
ber. The First deposes all simoniacs. The Second con- 
demns every kind of traffic in Sacraments and all holy 
things, especially reprobating that in ecclesiastical digni- 
ties. Those who simoniacally acquire honor or position 
are deprived of the fruit of their iniquity, and. together 
with the traders, are branded as infamous : " All custom to 
the contrary notwithstanding, nothing can be exacted or 
given, either before or after." The Th'nl prohibits a bish- 
op from receiving a person excommunicated by his own 
ordinar}'. The Fourth deprives of his benefice any cleric 
who, after being admonished by his bishop, shows himself 
a fop, or is otherwise extravagant or peculiar in his dress, 
hair, etc. The Fifth orders the observance of that decree 
of the Council of Chalcedon whereby it was sanctioned 
" that the goods left by a prelate, at his death, be seized 
by no man whosoever, but remain, for the use of the diocese 
and the successor, in the free power of the treasurer and of 
the clergy. Let there be an end to that detestable and 
cruel rapacity. If, however, any one presumes hereafter to 
excercise it, let him be excommunicated." The same pun- 
ishment is decreed against those who seize the goods of the 
inferior clergy. This Canon, the Twenty -second of Chalce- 
don, had been already enforced by the S_ynod of Rheims, of 
1131, under the presidency of Innocent II. The Sixth 
deprives of benefice, and of the right of officiating, all sub- 
deacons, deacons, and priests, who marry or have concu- 
bines. The Seventh renews the decrees of Gregory VII., 
Urban II., and Paschal II., prohibiting attendance at the 
mass of a married or concubinary priest. It declares null 
the marriages of those in Holy Orders, and of Canons 
Eegular and professed monks. The Eii/hfh nullifies the 
marriages of nuns. The Ninth forbids to all monks and 
Canons Regular the practice of medicine or of civil law, if 
exercised for the sake of gain. If any bishop or abbot 

Intruder took the name of Anacletiis II. ; Pupn innocent fled to ihc fortified palace of the 
Franjripiuil, and iiftcrvvanls to FnwK'c. Afii'r Innocent's n'stonition to Rome, the anti- 
Pope coniliuicd ti) hold the Leonine ciiv until a ini.seral)lt' death overtook hhn, lu li:38. 
Then Ills partisans jrave him a successor, styled Victor IV., hut St. Hernard, who was then 
tu Borne, soon converted this anti -I'o|)e and led him to the feet of Innocent II. 


permits such practice, he is to be deposed and excommu- 
nicated. The Tenth anathematizes all who appropriate the 
tithes of a church. If the guilty do not make restitution, 
they commit sacrilege and "incur eternal damnation," even 
though they have been countenanced in their robbery " by 
bishops or by kings." This Canon also condemns the prac- 
tice, which had become quite common, of conferring dean- 
eries and archdiaconates on young persons, and commands 
that such offices l)e assigned only to persons of known 
prudence and merit. It also repro(;ates the custom of 
some bishops, wiio gave parishes to wandering priests. In 
reference to the first portion of this Canon, that relating to 
lay-appropriation of tithes, we may observe that many of 
"the nobles of Normandy and England had been accustomed, 
for a long time, to take to themselves a third of all the 
church tithes collected in their domains. The Conqueror 
forced them all to make restitution, but alter he had died 
the custom was resumed. Hence a Synod of Rouen, in 1096, 
had condemned the practice, and the decree was repeated 
by a Synod at Poitiers, over which the legates of Paschal 
II. presided. The Tenth Council confirmed these decisions, 
•• because tithes were designed for the uses of piety ; " 
and such has ever been the mind of the Church. When the 
state was in difficulty, the Church frequently offered it help 
in the shape of a concession of all or a part of her tithes, 
and sometimes the beneficiary neglected to resign a posses- 
sion which was of so much profit. The Eleventh and 
Twelfth Canons regarded the celebrated " Truce of God," 
of which we have treated in a special chapter. The Thir- 
teenth is very severe on usurers. It declares usury to be 
" prohibited by divine and human law, in the Old and New 
Testament," and deprives its votaries " of all ecclesiastical 
consolation." They are not to be absolved, " unless with 
great caution," but are rather " to be regarded as infamous, 
during their entire lives ; and unless they repent, are to be 
deprived of Christian burial." The Fourteenth regards the 
custoiD to which soldiers were addicted, of frequenting 
lairs and such places and occasions, for an opportunity of 
exhibiting their skill and valor. These fairs, in fact, had 


become so many j:;Uuliatori;il shows, and comLials to \he- 
death were not iincommou. By this Cauou, a ij;hidiali)i- 
mortally wounded on one of these occasions was denied 
Christian burial, even thouj^h he lived long enough to con- 
fess, and to receive the Holv Viaticum. The Fifteenth ex- 
communicates those who lay violent hands on a cleric or a 
monk, and reserves their cases, unless thev be in danjier i>f 
death, to the Holy See. From the most ancient times,, 
persons guilty of the most heinous crimes had gone to 
l\ome for an absolution denied them at home, but this 
Canon seems to have reserved expressly, for the lirst time, 
an}- particular crime to the sole judgment of the Pontili". 
The Sixteeiit/i denies that the possession of an ecclesiastical 
benefice can be a matter of hereditary right. " for the hon- 
ors of the Church are given, not to a certain blood, but to 
merit : and the Church has no heirs bv hereditary riuht, or 
according to the flesh, but rather seeks for honest, wise, 
and religious persons to occupy her posts of government 
and to fill her oflices." St. Bernard, commenting upon the 
passage of the Gospel • behold, we have left all things," 
gives a fearful picture of this abuse, as not uncommon in his 
days The Stirnteent/i condemns as incestuous marriages 
within certain degrees of kindred, and says they are " de- 
tested by the Fathers and by the Holy Church of God."" 
The civil law of that time regarded the fruit of such unions 
as infamous, and debarred it from the rights of heredity. 
The Ekihtt'enth excommunicates and deprives of Christiai> 
burial all incendiaries, this evil having greatly increased, 
owing to the prevalence of private feuds and vendettas. 
Absolution for this crime could not be accorded unless the 
injury was repaired, and only then on condition of a year's 
service with the Crusaders in Palestine or Spain. The 
Xinetieutli suspends for one year, and obliges to a reparation 
of the injury committed by the culprit, any bishop who 
absolves an incendiary without insisting on the conditions 
of the previous Canon. The Ticentiet/i declares that the 
Council does not wish to interfere with the secular power, 
in its actions against the crime of incendiarism. The 
Tioenty-jirst forbids to the sons of priests all ministration at 


the altar, unless they embrace the monastic life. The 
Tiventy -second admonishes confessors against false or illu- 
sory repentance. " There is a false repentance when the 
penitent does not give up an office or a business which he 
cannot fill or conduct without sin, or when he bears hatred 
in his hearty or when he does not repair an injury or forgive 
one, or when he bears arms in an unjust cause."' The 
Ticenfy-fhinJ, as we have teen, regards the Petrobruisians 
and the Arnoldists. The Ticeniij-fourth prohibits the ex- 
action of money for the Holy Chrism and Oils or for 
Christian burial. The Tic^nty -fifth commands that no ec- 
clesiastic receive a benefice from a lay hand, and deprives 
such a recipient from his position, since, according to the 
decrees of the holy Fathers, laymen, be thev ever so re- 
ligious, have no right to dispose of the goods of the 
Church." In the previous century, many Synods had con- 
demned this abuse. By this decree, however, the Council 
did not interfere with the legitimate "right of presenta- 
tion " enjoyed by certain lay patrons, and which was 
derived from their (or their ancestors) having founded and 
endowed the benefice in question. The Council merelv 
denied the right of absolute collation, without any approval 
of ecclesiastical authority, which certain magnates had 
arrogated to themselves. The Trcenty-sixth anathematizes 
those women who, living in private houses and wearing the 
habit of religious, although professing no recognized rule, 
receive men as guests. The Tirenty-seveitth prohibits nuns 
and monks from chanting the Office together, in the same 
choir. The Ticenty-eighth provides that no episcopal see 
remain vacant for more than three months. The Ticentu- 
ninfh prohibi's the use of cross-bows against Christians. 

Tbe decrees of the Tenth Council were eminently wi^je, 
and Pope Innocent II. was justified in expecting that crreat 
good would accrue to the Church by their means. But the 
evils of the time were so deeply seated, that most of the 
Council's designs were frustrated. 



Pope Alexander III. and the Lombard League. 

Conrad III. having died in 1152, the German throne was 
mounted bv liis son Frederick, called, on account of his red 
beard, Barbarossa, At this time Pope Eugenius III. was 
experiencing great trouble with the Romans, who were 
powerfully agitated by the teachings of Arnold of Brescia, 
and were ambitious to restore the ancient glories of the S. 
P. Q. R. Eugenius in vain implored the assistance of the 
French in restoring order in his turbulent capital, and 
albeit unwillingly, now turned to Frederick I. The German 
king was but too glad to avail himself of the Pontiff's re- 
quest as a pretext for his own aggrandizement, for the 
imperial claims in Italy were just then nearly entirely ig- 
nored. He eagerly promised to restore Eugenius to his 
temporal throne, and accordingly that Pontiff departed 
from France, where he had taken refuge, and advanced as 
far as Tivoli, where he hoped to be met by Frederick. 
Here he suddenly died, in July, 1153. The next Pope was 
Anastasius IV., but after a short reign he was succeeded, 
in December, 1154, by Adrian IV. Adrian renewed his 
predecessor's application to Frederick, and promised him, 
as a reward, the imperial crown. Having arranged his 
German affairs, the Red Beard now descended into Ital}- at 
the head of a formidable army, and before he gave any aid 
to the Pontiff, proceeded to restore the imperial power in 
the North. His first venture was made against Milan, but 
finding it impossible of reduction, he spent his fury upon 
the surrounding country, and having sacked and burnt Asti, 
Chieri, and Tortona, he entered Pavia, where he received 
the iron crown of Lombardy. Pope Adrian and Frederick 
met at A^iterbo, and were there waited upon by a deputation 
from Rome, promising obedience to the Pontiff. A few 
days afterward, having peacefully entered the city, Adrian 
placed the imperial crown upon the head of Frederick. 
The peace of the city was soon disturbed, for the Romans, 


iudignant at the contempt which Barbarossa showed for 
them, and disgusted with the brutality of the German sol- 
diery, arose in arms, and after a long and bloody light the 
emperor, accompanied by Adrian, withdrew his army to 
Tivoli. Sickness soon decimated his forces, and he ordered 
a retreat to Germany. Attacked on all sides by the in- 
furiated Lombards, whom he had injured, he finally, almost 
alone, crossed the frontier. But in 1158, I'rederick took 
his revenge. With more than a hundred thousand men he 
laid siege to Milan, hunger finally caused a capitulation, 
and the heroic bulwark of Lombard independence was com- 
pelled to swear fidelity to the German. With the acquisition 
of Milan and the consequent reduction of all Northern 
Italy, Barbarossa flattered himself that the imperial power 
was better consolidated than it had been since the days of 
Charlemagne. But dissensions now arose between Pope 
AA-ian and the conqueror. The Pontiff had many grievances 
against Frederick, and to obtain redress of these, he com- 
missioned as legates the cardinals Octavian, Henry, William, 
and Guido. Through them Adrian insisted, firstly, that 
the emperor should desist from all communication with the 
Komans, unless through the Pontiff, because the govern- 
ment of the Koman states belonged only to the latter. 
Secondly, he demanded a cessation of the contributions of 
hay and straw, levied on the Romans for the imperial cav- 
alry, contending that such could be permitted only on the 
occasion of an imperial coronation. Thirdly, he required 
that Italian bishops should be asked to give no homage, but 
only an oath of fidelity, to the emperor. Fourthly, he 
protested against the custom of lodging and entertaining 
imperial messengers, which had been forced upon the 
bishops. Fifthly, he demanded the cession to the Roman 
See of the territories of the Countess Matilda, donated by 
her to that See, and of all the territory between Aquapen- 
dente and Rome, of the duchy of Spoleto, and of the islands 
of Sardinia and Corsica. Adrian also complained that 
Frederick had broken his promise not to cede any Italian 
territory to the Greeks, also his agreement to make no 
peace with the king of Sicily without the consent of the 


Pope. (1). To these demaiids and complaints the emperor 
gave no satisfaction. With regard to the inheritance of 
Matikhi, he said he wonhl leave that to the decision of 
wise and impartial men, ar.d to this the legates replied that 
the dignity of the Pontiff permitted no recourse to an in- 
ferior's judgment. Foreseeing a struggle, and realizing 
that the imperial power was waxing too strong in Italy, 
Pope Adrian negotiated with Milan, Piacenza, Cremona, 
and other cities which were impatient of a foreign yoke. 
The enraged Frederick now rushed into Italy to crush this 
alliance, but he had scarcely arrived, when ho heard of the 
death of Adrian. 

At this time the Sacred College, then numbering thirty 
cardinals, was divided into two parties. The larger and 
more influential, led by the cardinal Eoland Bandinella. 
chancellor of the Fvoman Church, was very averse to the 
German emperor, and had constantly urged the late Ponkff 
to make peace with William of Sicily, regarding him as 
likely to prove a faithful defender of the Holy See against 
the machinations of Frederick. The other party, under the 
guidance of the cardinal Octavian, was devoted to the em- 
peror, and so pronounced had this devotion become, that 
Pope Adrian lY. had besought the cardinals not to elect 
any of that faction to the Papacy, since its servile regard 
for the imperial crown was a treachery to the Church. 
When the Conclave was held, twenty-three cardinals voted 
for Bandinella, and five for Octavian. The former was 
accordingly proclaimed as Alexander III. Octavian, how- 
ever, relvin^T upon the aid of the Koman senators, Ghibel- 
lines to the core, dragged the Pontifical vestments from 
Alexander, and presented himself to the people as Victor 
IV. Fearing for his life. Alexander fled to the castle of San 
Angelo, and for nine days was besieged by the schismatics. 
But the people soon learned the truth, and led by Hector 
Frangipane, they routed the insurgents and freed the Pon- 
tiff. Both parties having notified the emperor of their ac- 
cession, Barbarossa presumed to convoke a Diet at Pavia to 
decide the question, and Alexander having refused to attend 

(1) Badkvic, Epistle of Eherard 'Hamburg to ttie A rctibisliop of Salzburg, lu B. 
xl., c. 30. 


it, fifty bishops satisfied the emperor by recognizing Octa- 
vian as legitimate Pontifi". (1). In a Nazarene Synod held in 

1160, the Eastern churches recognized Alexander, and in 

1161, the English bishops did the same at Newmarket, and 
the French acquiesced at Beauvais and Toulouse. In the 
meantime, the cities of Milan, Crema, and Brescia, indignant 
at the Redbeard's violations of the terms of their capitula- 
tion, and driven to fury by his extortions, had commenced 
another war. The emperor resolved to make a terrible 
example of the rebellious cities. First came the siege of 
Crema, the faithful narration of which causes horrible 
repulsion to the reader. Exhausted at last by six months of 
fatigue and inexorable hunger, the Cremaschi were obliged 
to open their gates. All the inhabitants were expelled, and 
in a few hours Crema was a smoking ruin. When the news 
of the imperial action at Pavia reached Pope Alexander, he 
was residing at Anagni. He immediately excommunicated 
the anti-Pope, Frederick, and all their abettors. Then he 
proceeded to Terracina, from wdiich place he tried to influ- 
ence William of Sicily to draw the sword in defence of the 
Holy See. That prince, however, had forgotten his warlike 
youth, and was loth to forsake the lap of luxurious indolence, 
unless for his own immediate interests. Alexander there- 
fore sailed to Genoa, where he was received with great 
respect and joy. He afterwards w^ent to France. The 
Milanese, undeterred by the frightful fate of the Cremaschi, 
were now in full insurrection against the German power. 
The imperial army, and such Italian cities as favored Bar- 
barossa, suffered immense losses, and in one battle the 
emperor was wounded. But by force of gold and fair 
promises, Frederi-jk greatly augmented the number of his 
Italian allies, and the Milanese were finally compelled to 
withdraw within their own walls. Famine at length brought 
about their surrender, and the entire population was driven 
forth, literally beggars for a crust of bread to sustain life. 
Ten days afterwards, a lieap of stones and bricks si) owed 
"the traveller where had stood the proud and magnificpnt 
Milan. (2). The spectacle of so many thousands of people, 

(1) RADKVtc, Deeds nf Frederick I., B. ii., c. 64. 

C2) Of the innumerable monuments of the ancient Roman, and of their own more modem 


all the Milanese and a great number from Piacenza, Brescia, 
and Bologna, reduced to absolute mendicancy, did more 
than anything else to bring forth and nourish that cele- 
brated Lombard League, which was destined to crush for 
a time, and to diminish forever, the imperial power in 
Italy. When Frederick learned that most of the Lombard 
cities were uniting to oppose him, he marched on Verona, 
but frrowing suspicious of the fidelity of the Italian allies 
yet following his banner, he suddenly raised the siege and 
returned to Germany for a new and larger army. 

Pope Alexander III. had now returned to Kome, the 
anti-Pope having died, in 1164, and had been received wdth 
joy by the Romans, whose imperialistic tendencies had 
been greatly modified by the excesses of Barbarossa. He 
exerted all his influence to develop and confirm the Lom- 
bard League, and aided the scattered inhabitants of Milan 
and Crema to settle amid the ruins of their homes, and to 
commence the rebuilding of their cities. Enraged at the 
patriotic efforts of the Pontiff, Frederick recrossed the Alps 
and marched on Rome to enthrone his anti-Pope, Paschal 
III., whom he had caused to be chosen as successor to the 
defunct Victor He took the Leonine City by assault, re- 
duced the fortified basilica of St. Peter's by fire, and re- 
new^ed the ceremony of his coronation. The new anti-Pope 
was then enthroned, and Frederick turned his attention to 
the Romans. Flatteries, fair promises, and above all, gold. 
were given in profusion to both nobles and people, and 
many of them were corrupted. Pope Alexander, on the 
approach of the emperor, had fled to the strongly fortified 
palace of the Frangipani, which was well calculated to with- 
stand a siege, even from the imperial army. The princely 
head of the Frangipani was faithful and brave, but the Pope's 
counsellors, nevertheless, advised him to retire to the Pajial 
principality of Benevento. Having disguised their persons, 
.Alexander and his cardinals stole out of the city by night, 
rode to Terracina, where they embarked for Gaeta, and 
finally were safelv housed in Benevento. But Barbarossa 

artistic -iHl r.iTliitcctiiriil urraiidcur. Ilic Mllaiu'sc roulil now rejoice in ilic i>ossc' s.On of only- 
one :in>l thiit endures to iliis (liiv. It stands in front of the (l.nrcl! of St. Lawrence, is a 
port'"'"' of !i niaiestic inartile portico, formed l>y a row of sixteen immense columns. How- 
It escaped the oHierwise universal dcsiruclion, is not recorde<l. 


could not remain long in Rome, The climate was not 
favorable to the brutal intemperance of his soldiers, and 
immense numbers of thetn were buried. He therefore 
returned to Germany with the wreck of his army. The 
Lombard League, solemnly arranged on Dec. 1, 1167, was 
now firmly cemented, and, under the active patronage of 
Pope Alexander, was an object of fear to Frederick. It 
united together the cities and territories of Venice, Yerona, 
Vicenza, Padua, Treviso, Ferrara, Brescia, Bergamo, Cre- 
mona, Milan, Lodi, Piacenza, Parma, Modena, and Bologna. 
Genoa and Pisa, however, were too embittered by their 
commercial rivalry to lay down their arms, and they 
continued their foolish struggle, involving also Florence 
and Sienna, on the side of Pisa, and Lucca and Pistoja, 
on the side of Genoa. Pavia also, and the powerful mar- 
quis of Monferrato, remained hostile to the League, and 
patiently awaited the next return of the Germans into 
the peninsula. This occurred in 1173. The Redbeard 
entered Piedmont by Mt. Cenis, stormed and burned Susa, 
and laid siege to the new city of Alessandria, founded, in 
1168, in honor of the back-bone of the League, Pope Alex- 
ander III. A great number of houses had already been 
erected, but their roofs were as yet only thatched with 
straw. Rightly regarding the name of the city as having 
been given in token of defiance to the Germans, Frederick 
swore to so use fire and sword, that not a trace of Alessan- 
dria should perpetuate the memory of the Pontiff. His 
oath seemed easy of fulfilment, for the new city had no 
walls, and no other defence than a deep ditch. Neverthe- 
less, his assaults were again and again repelled, and al- 
though he used all the military engines then known to 
offensive warfare, he found his army daily decreasing, and 
the city no nearer reduction. At length, taking advantage of 
a night of unusual darkness, the Alessandrini made a sortie, 
which resulted in an immense slaughter of the imperialists, 
and the destruction of nep,rly all their war machines and pro-, 
visions. This blow, followed by the news that the Leaguers 
were advancing in force to the relief of the city, induced 
Barbarossa to retreat on Pavia. From this strong position, 


while dispatching to Germany orders after orders for rein- 
forcements, he tried to gain time by making overtures to the 
League. They were heeded, and for a long time Frederick 
prolonged the negotiations, but taking care to put forth such 
exorbitant pretensions as would insure their rejection. By 
the time the Leaguers had discovered their enemy's trick, 
and had cut short the parleying, the emperor had received 
his fresh troops, provisions, munitions, etc. Therefore, in 
the spring of 1176, he started for Como, while the Leaguers, 
then composed of troops from Milan. Lodi, Novara, Pia- 
cenza, Brescia, and Vercelli, marched toward the Ticino, 
and encamped near Legnano. On May 26, reconnoitring 
parties crossed swords, both armies came up, and then en- 
sued one of the bloodiest and most important battles of 
the age. The Italians were victorious, and, leaving on the 
field his own lance, shield, banner, and cross, his military 
chest, and an immense spoil in arms, horses, etc., aban- 
doned by his panic stricken troops, who scattered in every 
direction, Frederick barely succeeded in throwing himself 
into the arms of his faithful Ghibellines of Pavia. He now 
realized that the time had arrived for submission to the 

Pontift'. (1). 

At the suggestion of the emperor, representatives of the 
Holy See and of the Lombard cities met the imperial leg- 
ates at Bologna, to consider the conditions of peace. The 
congress was soon transferred to Venice, and Pope Alexan- 
der, escorted by a Sicilian fleet, arrived to take part. The 
emperor and the Leaguers could here agree only upon a 
truce of six years, but shortly after, a conference was held 
at Constance, in which the independence of the Italian re- 

(1) Th.. U'arn.'<l BHiiediftiiu' historian. Tosti. in His Ilislnr,, of thr L<»>\l>m;l /-'■''!/"^- 
Montec ssno 1S4.S. ,,. 34.i. tlins co.n.n.Mits on tli.' Dattlo ..f I.eirnan,.: Tlu liattlt' of 
il^^n ,11 . vv IS o 1.' of liose )r vvliirli wt' .•».'" n'ii.l, in Imlti anri.'MI aii.l liistuiy. as 
having U^'ltiMlI'st ni.-s nf an .-ntiTv ......plo They are ,;repare,i heforeha.uH.y n.auy 

ciremMstineesuf time an.l of in.Mi. as thoiitrh by a special I'n.vhienee of Heaxen : and 
he 1 • ' u en ihev are fon-lit. n.en may expect to s^e some cr,.wn ,1 sappeann- forever, or 
c >,, , ;,. , 1,. ■ r sin.r -in,! writin". in the <'oaex of jnstice, the date of its aciiuisilion ,if free- 
do ' . st-t 1 t aras lu^i never conteiwle,!. swoni in haii.l an,l m pitche,! battle 
a^ nslthe.'n'.M-or: a reverence for Caesar was still written iii lhe,r hearls-it uas not 
vet wine o 1 It he t.'ars of slaverv. M I' they lea-n.-,! toireiher. an-i prepare.i to 
Ct t. i .1 eii nhlh- documenls of the day. there always app.;ars a superstitions ivver- 
eSc^^rtVe emperor, in the wonis s„/.v, larnn, im,,rrnl.,nst„l,hlot.. At Le^rnano they 
Pmfse sword" will, and ronlcl the imperialists ; tliev despoiled C-esar of everything, and 
Se of^ sst^'^'^'^^^^^ ^vith all of His prestiL'e. disappeare.l all the inlluence o the si.e- 
Si f i uleiMaL'neand of (.iho. That hatlle was not niere y a vi.^tory ..f the Lombards 
over Fre. eri ck Harharossa : it was a defeat of the empire by t le Ualian republh-.s. and on 
that , lay was destroved that which had made the people resigned to their servitude-a 
nillKious respect for the empire." 


publics was ackuowledged, on condition that their chief 
magistrates should receive their investiture from the em- 
peror. As to his differences with the Holy See, Frederick 
now had too much at stake to allow him to give way to his 
native arrogance ; above all things, it was necessary for 
him to break the union of the Guelphs, by separating from 
their cause that of the Pontiff. He therefore manifested 
much humility and docility in acceding to the demands of 
Alexander. He immediately procured the abdication of 
his last anti-Pope, Calixtus III. (1), whom he had caused 
to be substituted, in 1170, for the defunct Paschal ; as to 
the territories donated to the Holy See by the countess 
Matilda, he promised to yield them. Certain imperialistic 
-and many Protestant authors have shed a very theatrical 
light upon the audience in which Pope Alexander III. re- 
stored Frederick I. to the communion of the Church. They 
assert that, as the emperor prostrated himself at the feet of 
the Pontiff, Alexander placed his heel upon the monarch's 
head, and cried out, in the words of the Psalmist, " Thou 
«halt walk upon the asp and the basilisk, and thou shalt 
trample un ler foot the lion and the dragon;" that the 
humiliated Frederick protested that those words were said 
•of Peter alone, and that the elated Alexander replied, "of 
me, and of Peter." The absurdity of this story is evident ; 
that it is unfounded in fact, is proved by the silence of all 
the contemporaries and quasi-contemporaries of Alexander 
who wrote about his Pontificate, Thus, Eomuald, arch- 
bishop of Salerno, who was present at the absolution of 
Frederick, and who wrote a Life of Alexander, says nothing 
of this scene ; neither does Matthew of Paris (2), nor Wil- 
liam of Tyre (3), nor Roger of Hoveden. (4). 

The peace concluded at Venice had for result, so far as 
the Italian republics were concerned, a confederation very 
similar, apparently, to that which was formed, two cen- 
turies afterward, in the mountains of Switzerhind ; in sub- 
stance, however, there was a great difference between the 

(1) This intruder humbly begged pardon of Alexander, in 1178, and we are told by Ro- 
TDuald of Salerno thit th^ Pontiff that day seated him at his own table- So much for the 
.arrogance of Alexander HI., a favorite theme of certain writers. 

(2) Eri'jlish HMorj), year 1177. (3) Holy War. 
(4) AiinaUf of England, year 1177. 


two. The Lombard confederation acknowledged as head,, 
either elective or hereditary, a foreigner, who, aided by- 
foreign troops and by almost inevitable internal discord,, 
might, at any moment, become a tyrant. But Frederick 
obtained many advantages by the same treaty. He filled 
his exhausted treasury, and being hailed as sovereign de 
Jure of Lombardy. he could patiently await an opportunity 
of becoming such de facto. His reconciliation with the 
Italians enabled him to delay the cession of Tuscany to the 
Holy See, if, indeed, he ever sincerely intended to obey 
the will of the countess Matilda, and to fulfil his owm oath. 
Another great advantage accruing to Frederick from peace 
with the Pontiff and the northern Italians, was an oppor- 
tunity to carry out a long designed scheme to establish a 
branch of his family on a royal throne iu Italy. William 
II , king of Naples and of Sicily, had no children, and 
Frederick proposed a marriage between his son Henry 
(afterward the Sixth of Germany) and the princess Con- 
stance, aunt and sole heiress of William. Pope Alexander 
III , and after him, Pope Lucius III, and Urban III., being 
displeased with Barbarossa because of his tortuous policy 
and his contempt for his obligations, and unwilling that a 
foreigner, already on the way to become ruler of Northern 
Italy, should become sovereign of the South, opposed all 
their power against this marriage, but in vain. We shall 
notice its results, when we come to treat of the Pontificate 
of Innocent III. During the next few years after the 
peace of Venice, Frederick remained comparatively quiet; 
with the exception of a short war with the duke of Saxony, 
Henry the Lion, tranquillity pervaded his dominions. But 
in 1189, the fall of Jerusalem having caused Pope Urban 
III. to proclaim a new Crusade, Frederick received tlx^ 
Cross from the hands of the cardinal Henry, bishop of Al- 
bano, and led a considerable army toward Palestine. By 
June of the following year he reached the banks of the 
Calycadnus, in Cilicia, and while trj^ing to ford the stream 
in liis heavy armor, was drowned. 

We cannot close this chapter without a few words in 
defense of the conduct of Pope Alexadider III., in making a- 


:separate peace with Frederick, without, it is said by some, 
more consideration for his allies. Many Italian historians 
have also blamed him for not taking advantage of the im- 
perial misfortunes, thus assuring the independence of their 
• country. But in his treaty with the emperor, Alexander 
III. entered into no arrangement which could reasonably 
displease the Lombards, and there was no likelihood that 
the confederates would have helped the Pontiff to the ex- 
tent of annihilating the imperial power in Italy. It is 
•certain that the Leaguers, even in their most prosperous 
moments, did not dream of absolute withdrawal from the 
•empire ; the ideas of those days were very diflferent from 
those of the present time. The Italian enemies of Barba- 
rossa merely contended for " home-rule," and they willingly 
^acknowledged the supremacy or primacy of the suzerain 
created and anointed by the Holy See. This is well proved 
"'by the following passage of Romuald of Salerno^ giving a 
Declaration made by the chiefs of the League to the Pope, 
nn 1177 : " Your Holiness and the im23erial government 
must know that we will gratefully receive the peace of the 
emperor, if the honor of Italy be secured; and that we 
wish to recover his friendship, providing that he will guard 
■our liberties. We desire to satisfy all the obligations of 
Italians toward him, according to the ancient usages ; we 
do not reject any of the olden laws ; but we will never con- 
sent to forego that liberty which we inherited from our 
forefathers, and we will lose it only with our lives, for the 
death of a freeman is sweeter to us than the life of a slave." 
Why then should Alexander have prolonged the war? 
igain, by an annihilation of the imperial power, the Pontiff 
would have undone the work of his predecessor, who had 
created that power, and had confided to it the temporal 
supremacy of Christendom. Even when an emperor became 
a rebel to the Pontiff, Rome never thought of abolishing 
his office, but only of substituting a more religious and 
imore docile incumbent. 



The Eleventh General Council : Third of the Lateran, 

During the years 1177 and 78, Pope Alexander III. sent 
subdeacons to all the ecclesiastical provinces, suran:oning 
the bishops to a General Council at Rome in the following 
year. (1). Such was the manner, in those days, of convok- 
ing a Council. (2). The letter of convocation says : " As we 
see there are many things in the Church of God which need 
correction, many improvements to be made, and many 
things to be made known to the faithful which will help to- 
their salvation ; we have resolved to summon ecclesiastics 
from all parts, that, by their presence and counsel, what is. 
healthful may be established, and what is good may be- 
provided, according to the custom of the ancient Fathers, 
and be confirmed by many. If this were effected by each 
one individually, it would not easily attain its end. There- 
fore, by these Apostolic Letters, we command that you 
co-operate with this our arrangement, and, the Lord leadings 
that you come to the city of Rome on the first Sunday of 
the coming Lent, so that, with the aid of the grace of the- 
Holy Ghost, we may decide, by our common care, what is- 
to be done in the correction of abuses and in the establish- 
ment of what will be pleasing to God; that we may, with' 
one shoulder, support the Ark of the Lord, and with one- 
tongue, give honor to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus- 
Clirist." The reasons for holding the Council were, first,, 
to remedy the evils caused by the anti-Popes whom 
Frederick Barbarossa had sustained, and, in two instances, 
created ; second, to condemn the Waldensian heresy; third, 
to invigorate ecclesiastical discipline. Pope Alexander, in 
person, presided over the Council. Matthew of Paris says 
there were present 310 bishops, but William of Tyre, who 

(1) The year 1170 Is assigned as the date of the Eleventh General CoHncll hyOthno^ 
Frlsincen(< Vi/omc/c, B. vii.i, Matthewof I'aris, Williaiiiuf Tvre. Kotrcrnf Ilovcilen. Helm- 
old and AllKTt Stadensis. And m-verttii'lfss. and altlKUiirli Alt-xandci III. du-il in I!S1, the 
abbot <if iTspcrir, in liis Clirnniclr. says : '• In the year of the I.ind IISJ. I'o|m' Alexander 
held a (icncral (duii<il in Itii- Liilt-ran basilica, about Ilic Calends of April : allbou^'h some 
8av the CouiKll was tifld in lli'.t. IJut it may be thai al tliis latter date lie celebrated a 
Synod Willi sonic (if tlif bishops of Italy." 

(3) KOBKIIT UK MU.NTK, )/«"' H'^- 


was one of the syno.lals, puts the number at 300. The 
Council was opened in the Lateran basilica, on March 5th, 
1179, and its business was completed iu three sessions. 

In its First Canon, the Council decreed that hereafter a 
two-third's vote of the Sacred College would elect a Pon- 
tiff. It reads as follows : " Although our predecessors 
issued Constitutions which sufficiently guard against discord 
in the election of a Supreme Pontiff, the Church has fre- 
quently suffered grievous rupture on account of the audacity 
of wicked ambition ; hence, to avoid this evil, we have 
decreed, by the advice of our brethren and with the appro- 
bation of the holy Council, to add something to those 
Constitutions. We therefore decree that if, by the enemy's 
sowing of nettles, there be not full concord among the 
cardinals in their choice of a Pontiff, and if two thirds 
agree, and the other third will not yield, but presumes to 
declare another Pontiff for itself, he shall be the Roman 
Pontiff who is elected and acknowledged by the two thirds. 
And if any one, not being able to attain his end, relies upon 
the nomination by one third, and usurps the name of Pon- 
tiff, he and all who recognize him are excommunicated, 
deprived of the exercise of their order, and even the Com- 
munion shall be denied to them, unless they are at the point 
of death. If they do not repent, let them have their lot with 
Dathan and Abiron, whom the earth swallowed alive. 
Again, if any one be chosen by less than two thirds, and 
no better agreement be reached, he will incur the above 
punishment, unless he Immbly retreats. However, this 
decree imports no prejudice to the Canonical and other 
ecclesiastical Constitutions, in which the sentence of the 
larger and better part ought to prevail ; because if any 
doubt arises in such cases, it can be settled by the decision 
of a superior. In the Roman Church there is a peculiar 
condition of things ; in its regard, there can be no recourse 
to a superior." By a decree of Pope Nicholas II., in 1059, 
the election of a Pontiff had been confined to the cardinals, 
" the consent of the remaining clergy and of the people fol- 
lowing ; so that those most religious men are to be the 
leaders in the election, and the rest followers." From the 


reign of Alexander III., the t\\o thirds system has constantly 
obtained. The Second Canon dechires the nullification of all 
appointments made by the late anti-Popes Octavian, Guido, 
and John, and prohibits the exercise of their order to all or- 
dained by them or theirs. It also prescribes the following 
form of abjuration, to be sworn to before a schismatic can be 
received into the Church : " I anathematize and reject every 
heresy which asserts itself against the Holy, Eoman, Cath- 
olic Church ; especially the schism of Octavian, Guido, and 
John ; and I regard the ordinations of these as null, and 
reject them. (1). And I swear that hereafter I shall obey 
and prove faithful to, the Holy Eoman Church and my lord 
Alexander and his legitimate successors ; that I shall serve 
them, without any evil mind, and according to my order, 
against all men. The counsels he may give me. in person 
or by writing, I will reveal to no man, even though my 
limbs or life be in danger ; I will honor the legates of the 
Eoman Church, guide them and dismiss them, and con- 
tribute to their expenses. So help me God, and these His 
holy Gospels." (2). 

The second reason for the celebration of the Eleventh 
Council was the condemnation of the Waldenses. As we 
shall devote a special chapter to these heretics, we here 
detain the reader only a few moments. While Pope Alex- 
ander III. was in France, he had held, in 1163. a Synod at 
Toulouse, the fourth Canon of which prohibited any one 
from harboring the Waldenses or Albigenses, and from 
holding any commercial relations with them. By its 27th 
Canon, the Eleventh Council confirms the decree of Tou- 
louse : " As blessed Leo says : Although ecclesiastical 
discipline is content with the sacerdotal decisions, and takes 
no bloody revenge, nevertheless it is assisted by the de- 
crees of princes, in order that men may seek a salutary 
remedy, when they fear an imminent corporal punishment. 
Therefore, since in Gascony, in the territory of Albi. and 
in the district of Toulouse, the condemned wickedness of 
those heretics who are variously styled Catharians, Pater- 
ines, Publicans, etc., has so developed, that they no longer 

(1) nilclt. tliat Is. not Invalid. 

(a) ALBKRT STADENSis, Chronicle. ALBERT Krantz. Metropolii, B. vli., c. 3. 


manifest their iniquities in secret, as others do, but even 
openly avow their errors, and thus seduce the weak and 
simple ; we pronounce anathema on them, their defenders, 
and their harborers ; and under pain of the same anathema, 
we prohibit all persons from harboring them in houses or 
territory, and from cherishing them, or transacting any 
business with them. If they die in their sin, let no offering 
be made for them, or burial among Christians be accorded 
them, notwithstanding any privilege conceded by us to any 
one whomsoever, and notwithstanding any other pretext." 
With regard to the severity of this and similar Canons, we 
shall take occasion to vindicate their justice and necessity 
when we come to treat of the Albigenses. In another part 
of the same 27th Canon, the Council condemns the preda- 
tory bands of Belgians, Arragonese, Navarrese, Basques, 
Cotterels (1), and Triaverdins, who had jcjined the Albi- 
genses for the sake of pillage and lust, " who respected 
neither churches nor monasteries ; sparing not orphans, 
women, or old age ; but looting and desolating everywhere ; " 
and orders that " for the remission of their sins, all the 
faithful courageously oppose these ravages, and defend 
Christians against such wretches." The Canon then grants 
indulgences " at the discretion of the bishops," of greater 
or less extent, according to their term and kind of service, 
to those who don the Cross in the Holy Wars. 

The third object of the Eleventh Council was the iuvig- 
oraticn of ecclesiastical discipline. Simony was rife in the 
churches and monasteries : the clergy were, to a great 
extent, stained with avarice, and addicted to pompous dis- 
play : among the laity, usury had become a notorious evil. 
The Council therefore issued, besides the three Canons 
already noticed, twenty-four others. The Third prescribes 
" that no person be made a bishop, unless he is thirty years 
of age, born of legitimate matrimony, and is shown to be 
commendable in life and in learning." No one can be made 
a dean, an archdeacon, a parish-priest, or receive any 
care of souls, unless he lias reached his twentv-fifth vear, 
and is of approved knowledge and morals. In the twelfth 

■ ^1 T)° Ml oa says these were so called because their favorite weapon was a lung knife, 
called b:.- the Tuulousans a ajUaxl. 


century, the promotion of young persons, on account of 
court influence, to ecclesiastical dignity, had become a 
frightful abuse. St. Bernard (1) says : " Schoolboys, not 
yet arrived at the age of puberty, are promoted, because of 
their family dignity, to ecclesiastical ofiices ; they are taken 
from under the master's rod, and assigned to govern priests." 
William of Newburg (2) reproves archbishop Koger of 
York because, " instead of the worthy persons who once 
shed light upon the church of York, he appointed beardless 
youths, better fitted to play at odd-aud-even, or to straddle 
the hobby-horse." The Fourth protects the clergy and 
bishops from undue expenses, while their superiors are 
making a visitation. A cardinal may have twenty-five 
horses at such a time, if he is not also a bishop ; an arch- 
bishop shall be content with forty or fifty ; a bishop may 
be followed by thirty ; an archdeacon will find five or seven 
a sufficiency ; a dean must be satisfied with two. This 
programme, however, is only for the poorer places ; if a 
very rich place be visited, the Council " tolerates " the vis- 
itator's exercise of discretion. The Fiftli prohibits any 
ordination without a " title," whereby the ordained may 
live until he be provided with a benefice. In this Canon, 
occurs the first mention of the patrimonial title. A bishop 
who ordains a person without a title, whereby he may live, 
is obliged himself to support that person until he receives 
a benefice. In consequence of this Canon, Pope Innocent 
III. ordered the bishop of Zamora, whose predecessor had 
ordained a certain subdeacon, to support him until he as- 
signed him a benefice, threatening to compel the bishop by 
ecclesiastical censure. The Sixth prohibits any suspension 
or excommunication before the issuance and recoption of 
the formal canonical admonition. It orders a certain time 
to be assigned for the prosecution of an appeal, if the ag- 
grieved party desires to make one ; if the appeal is not 
madp within that time, "the bishop may exercise his right." 
Monk'i and religious are prohibited to appeal " against the 
regular discipline of thpir superiors or Cliapters." The 
Scvvhth condemns all charges for tlie administration of 

(II riiKt'i'i'i lo ThiniLdirliliishop of Sens. 
Ci) EiiiilUh Afhntu, B. ill., c. 5. 


Sacraments, for the granting of benefices, and for the Sacred 
Oils. This Canon is transcribed in the Decretals, B. V., tit. 
iii., on Siraony. It also decrees that if any person, being 
in danger of death, leaves his property to a religious order, 
his parish church shall receive its canonical share ; if, how- 
ever, a man in good health does the same, the will stands. 
The Eigldh prohibits the promising a particular benefice, 
when it shall become vacant, " lest one may seem to desire 
the death of the occupant." A prebend or benefice must 
be conferred within six months of the day it becomes 
vacant. If the collation belongs to the bishop, and he 
neglects to confer it, the right devolves on the Chapter, and 
vice versa ; if both neglect, the metropolitan must provide. 
The NintJi rebukes the Knights Templars and the Knights 
Hospitalers of St. John, and some other orders, for e5:ceed- 
ing the privileges conceded them by the Holy See, and 
decrees, first, that they receive no churches or tithes with' 
out the consent of the bishop ; second, that they avoid all 
excommunicated or interdicted persons ; third, that in all 
churches, not theirs by " full right," they present the^.r 
priests for installation by the bishop; fourth, that, if they 
come to an interdicted chufch, they can only once in the 
year be admitted to the ecclesiastical Office, and not even 
then can they bury the dead in the said church ; fifth, that 
those persons who live in religious houses, although not 
really belonging to the order, cannot partake of the immu- 
nities granted to the members. The Tenth forbids the 
reception of a monk or religious, " for money." It also 
decrees that a monk who keeps or possesses any money, 
" unless given him by the abbot for a definitely assigned 
purpose, be deprived of Communion, and if he be found, at 
his death, to have had money, he shall not be prayed for, 
and he shall not be buried with the brethren." The 
Eleventh regards the continency of the clergy, and is a repe- 
tition of previous enactments. The Twelfth prohibits clerics 
from conducting cases before secular tribunals, unless the 
case be of the Church, or their own, or for a miserably 
poor person. The Thirteenth condemns " spiritual poly- 
gamy," that is, the holding of more than one benefice by 


one person. The Fourteenth treats of the same subject, and 
then forbids the clergy, under pain of degradation, from re- 
ceiving churches from lay hands, without the authorization 
of the bishop. It also excommunicates any layman who 
compels an ecclesiastic to appear before a lay tribunal. The 
Fifteenth prohibits a cleric from transmitting to his heirs 
what Jie has acquired by virtue of his ecclesiastical office. 
What he has received " by inheritance, through his own 
labor, or by his learning," he may dispose of as he pleases. 
This decree is inserted in the Decretals, B. III., tit. 21, Wills 
and Last Wishes. The Sixteenth regards Capitular dissensions, 
and decrees that " unless something reasonable be alleged 
by the minorit}-, the decision of the majority shall stand, 
without appeal." The Seventeenth orders that, when a right 
of presentation to a benefice belongs to many, and they 
cannot agree upon a candidate, the majority's opinion be 
respected. If this would cause any scandal, the bishop 
must arrange the matter. He will also take the aft'air in 
his own hands, if a dispute arises as to who possesses the 
right of presentation, and it is not settled in four months 
from the date of vacancy. {Decretals, B. III., tit 39, Bight of 
Presentation.) The Eighteenth decrees that in all cathedral 
churches a fitting benefice be assigned for the support of 
the master of the cathedral school, whose principal duty it 
is to give gratuitous instruction to poor scholars. The 
Ninteenth excommunicates magistrates and consuls who im- 
pose burdens on churches and diminish ecclesiastical 
jurisdiction, unless " the bishop and the clergy see that 
there is such great necessity or utility, that the church 
ought to come to the aid of the community. (Decretals, B. 
III., tit. 49. Immunity of Chnrches.) The Twentieth repeats the 
decree of the Tenth Council against tournaments where life 
is endangered, gladiatorial shows at fairs, etc. The Tivtnty- 
first and Twenty -second regard the Truce of God, of which 
we have already spoken, and are inserted in the Decretals, 
B. I., tit. 33, Truce and Peace. The Twenty-third establishes 
a pastor, church, and cemetery, for every community of 
lepers, and exempts it from tithes. The Twenty-fourth ex- 
coiiiraunicates all who furnish munitions of war to the 


Mobammedans. or become navigators in tlieir ships. The 
same penalty is launched against all pirates and wreckers. 
The Twenty -fifth is against usury. The Twenhj -sixth ex- 
communicates Christians who have become domestics, etc., 
in the service of Jews. The Tiuenty -seventh proclaims a 
Crusade against the Albigenses. 


The Cause of St. Thomas a Becket, Akchbishop of Canter- 

Henry II. mounted the throne of England in 1154. By 
the death of his father, he inherited Touraine and Anjou ; 
through his mother he was lord of Normandy and Maine ; 
in marrying Eleanor of Poitou, he received as dowry Poitou, 
Saiutogne, Auvergne, Perigord, the Limousin, Angoumois, 
and Guienne. Thus, although a vassal of the king of 
Fiance, he became, on his accession to the English crown, a 
more powerful prince than his suzerain (1). Six Popes, 
Adrian IV., Alexander III., Lucius III., Urban III., Gregory 
VIII., and Clement III. occupied the chair of St. Peter 
during the reign o£ Henry II., but we shall have occasion, 
in this chapter, to allude only to Alexander. The other 
principal sovereigns contemporary with Henry were the 
emperor Frederick I. ; in France, Louis VII. and Philip 
Augustus ; in Spain, Alphonsus VIII., Sancho III., and 
Alphonsus IX. When Henry II. commenced to reign, there 
was no one to whom he owed so much as to Theobald arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and he soon promoted that prelate to 
the first place at the council-board. Worn out by age and 
sickness, Theobald wished to retire from political life, but 
his great love for Henry prompted him to leave his place 
to some one capable of guiding the young king, and he 
chose his own arch-deacon, Thomas a Becket. 

(1) We are told by Gerald of Cambrai, Peter of Rlois, and William of Newburg, that 
Henry n. was comparatively well read, and tliat he was srenerally well-mannered ; but the 
cardinal Vivian, after a long interview with him, said : " I have never witnessed the equal 
of this man as a liar, " and king Louis VU. told Henry's ambassadors that it was iaipM< 
elble to put faith in their master. 


Henry became greatly attached to the arch deacon, ap- 
pointed him chancellor, (1) made him preceptor of the Leir 
apparent, warden of the Tower, castellan of Berghamsted, 
and assigned to his service one hundred and forty knights. 
Becket was a warrior, at this time, as well as a counsellor. 
During the French campaign of 1159, he fought at the head 
of seven hundred knights and their retinues ; at the close 
of the war, he was maintaining twelve hundred knights and 
four thousand cavalry. In 1161, the highest dignity in the 
English church became vacant by the death of archbishop 
Theobald. For thirteen months Heur}- allowed the vacancy 
to continue, as the revenues of Canterbury Avere welcome to 
his pocket. At the end of that time, the ChajDter and the 
prelates met at Westminster ; every vote was cast for 
Becket, and prince Henry, in his father's name, gave the 
royal assent (2). The ostentation of the chancellor hence- 
forth gave place to the modesty of a Christian bishop ; he 
immediately resigned his secular offices, and dismissed his 
large train of noblemen, keeping near his person only a few 
of his most virtuous and most learned priests. (3). It was on 
account of his care for the poor, as well as for the sake of the 
sacred principle involved, that he now insisted upon the 
restitution of those revenues of his diocese which had been 
appropriated by laymen. It is not easy to determine 
whether this action of Becket was the first cause of dis- 
sension between him and the monarch ; but it is certain 
that, for more than a year before the open collision. Henry 
had cooled toward his former favorite, and that tli<^ envious 
noticed a change, and misre])resented his actions. An 
opportunity was offered to these gentry in 11(33, by a dis- 
pute regarding the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts. 
(4). The first attack on these tribunals was made on their 

(\) The rhanrcllorsliip was one i)f tlic ftnv oftloes that cdiiUI not 1h> boiiglii Ii was a sure 
st<M'Pii>P-f<t""«' '" •' hisMiM)iir. and hence its occupier avoided inourriiifx the Impediment of 
siiuony. IjN(;a1!I), //i>'oc.'/ o' /•.'(((//(Mk/. vol ii. c. 3. 

(2) Wlien the l<intr informed Becl<et of his intention to pi-omote his election, the chan- 
cellor sniilinKlv pointed to Ids iiniior, and saiil that such was not the dress of a bishop. 
He then declined the honor.>r that he could not do his duty as archbishop and, at the 
same Ume, retain Henry's favor; but, at the eiureaty of the lejrate Henry of Pisa, he ac- 
cepted the noinitiation. 

(.'li Protestants have called this chantre livpocrisy ; but, remarks I.insrani, had Becket 
been a hypocrite, he would have been both chancellor and archbishop, would have Haltered 
the kinp. and would have been ab^dlute in <-hnrcli and state. 

(4) "When the imperial irovernment cea.sed in other I'ountries, " says Llnprard, "the 
natives preserved mativ of its institutions, which the coMipierors incorponited with tlielr 
OWQ laws; but our barbarian aucustors eradicated e\ cry prior eslablishmeul, and traus- 


criminal jurisdictiou. Because of the presumed light sen- 
tence of one Philip de Brois, a canon of Bedford, convicted 
of manslaughter, and condemned to a money indemnity to 
the relations of his victim, and afterwards punished by 
whipping for insulting a judge, Henry summoned the 
bishops to Westminster, and demanded that hereafter, in 
all similar cases, the culprit should be punished by the 
secular tribunals, if convicted by the spiritual court. The 
prelates refused, and the king then asked if they would 
promise to observe the ancient customs of the realm. As 
these customs had not been defined, the archbishop replied 
affirmatively, " saving his order." Henry then put the 
question separately to each bishop ; with the exception of 
the bishop of Chichester, all repeated the answer of Becket. 
The prelates soon realized that the word "customs" was 
meant to cover an attack on most of the clerical immunities. 
But the archbishop of York, Koger de Pont I'Eveque, who 
had always been jealous of Becket, proposed to temporize; 
Becket refused, and wrote to Pope Alexander about the 
state of affairs. The Pontiff, who was then at Sens, answered 
with a most encouraging letter, bidding the English prelate 
not to yield one iota of the Church's rights. But before 
the Pope's missive arrived, the zealous archbishop had 
found himself deserted by nearly all the clergy. He was 
pressed on all sides to yield, and finally, knowing that Henry 
had sworn never to attack the Church immunities, he 
promised to withdraw that obnoxious reservatory clause : 

planted the manners of the wilds of Germany into the new solitude which they had made. 
After their conversion, they associated the heads of the clerfry with their nobles, and both 
equally exercised the functions of civil magistrates. It is plain that the bishop was the sole 
judf^e of the clergy in criminal cases (Sa.mii Laws, 83) ; that he alone decided their differ- 
ences {ibid., 51), and that to him appertained the cognizance of certain offences against the 
rights of the Church and the sanctions of religion : but as it was his duty to sit with the 
sheriH in the court of the county, his ecclesiastical became blended with his secular juris- 
diction, and many causes, which in other countries had been reserved to the spiritual judge, 
were decided in England before a mixed tribunal. This disposition continued in force till 
the Norman conquest, v.-hen the two judicatures were completely separated, and in every 
diocese * courts Christian, ' that is, of the bishop and his archdeacons, were established, 
after the model and with the authority of similar courts in all other parts of the Western 
church .... The proceedings of the former (ecclesiastical courts) were guided by fixed and 
invariable principles, the result of the wisdom of ages ; the latter were compelled to follow 
a system of jurisprudence confused and uncertain, partly of Anglo-Saxon, partly of Norman 
origin, and depending on precedents, of which some were furnished by memory, others had 
been transmitted by tradition. The clerical judges were men of talents and education ; the 
uniformity and equity of their decisions were preferred to the caprice and violence which 
seemed to sway the royal and baronial justiciaries; and by degrees every cause which 
legal ingenuity could connect with the provisions of the Canons, whether it regarded tithes, 
or advowsons, or public scandal, or marriage, or testaments, or perjury, or breach of con- 
tract, was drawn before the ecclesiastical tribunals. A spirit of rivalry arose between the 
two judicatures, which quickly ripened into open hostility. On the one side were ranged 
the bishops and chief dignitaries of the Church, on the other the king and barons." loc. ctt. 


"saving liis order." Henry then declared that, as Lis honor 
had been publicly injured, the reparation should be made 
before the estates of the kingdom. 

The bishops, barons, etc., met the king at Clarendon, on 
January 25th, 1164. Henry immediately demanded that 
the prelates should fulfil their promise, and Becket once 
more requested that the reservatory clause might be re- 
tained. The answer of Henry was a threat of exile or of 
death ; a door was thrown open, revealing to the astonished 
bishops a party of knights with drawn swords. Two Tem- 
plars then knelt before the primate, and begged him to 
yield ; the bishops joined with their entreaties, and finally 
Becket promised to observe the " customs," but quite 
naively asked to be told what they were. A committee of 
inquiry presented sixteen Constitutions as the customs of 
England. " The care of all vacant dioceses, abbeys, and 
priories, was to be given to the sovereign, and all their 
revenues, during the vacancy, to be paid to him ; the elec- 
tion of a new incumbent could be made only in pursuance 
of a royal writ, and should be held by the chief clergy in 
the royal chapel, with the royal consent, and by the advice 
of such prelates as the king might summon." The first 
portion of this Constitution refers to a custom introduced 
by William Rufus, but renounced by him and all his suc- 
cessors, including Henry II. himself. It was ordered, by 
the third Constitution, that, when a cleric was a party to a 
suit, the royal justices should decide in what court it 
should be tried ; if it was decided to send the case to an 
ecclesiastical court, a civil officer would make report of the 
proceedings, and the defendant, if convicted, could claim 
no " benefit of clergy," that is, exemption from punishment 
by the secular authority. This, says Lingard, ought not 
to have been called an " ancient " custom, for it was an in- 
novation, overturning the law as it had stood since the days 
of the Conqueror, and not restoring the judicial process of 
the Anglo-Saxons. The /ourfh, also derived from the Con- 
quest, ordered that " no archbishop, bishop, or other person, 
should leave the kingdom, without the royal consent ; " be- 
fore going, they were to give security that they would work 


notiiing against his majesty or his kingdom. The sevtnth 
Constitution prescribed that " no ciiief-tenant of the king, 
no officer of his househokl or demesne, could be excom- 
municated, or his lands interdicted, without the king's per- 
mission, or that of the grand-justiciary." The pretext of 
this custom, introduced by the Conqueror, was that, as aU 
men were obliged to avoid an excommunicated person, the 
king would lose the services of an excommunicated vassal. 
By the tigldh, appeals were ordered to proceed " from tht 
archdeacon to the bishop, from the bishop to the arch- 
bishop ; " if the metropolitan did not decide the cause, it 
was to be carried " to the king," that he might command it 
to be terminated "in the archiepiscopal court," and no 
other judge was to be had, "without the royal assent." 
King Henry I. had tried to prevent appeals to the Pope, 
but Henry II., some time after the Clarendon affair, denied 
that such was his intention. His creature, Gilbert Foliot, 
bishop of London, said that " the king claims that no one 
shall leave the kingdom, /or a civil cause.''' 

Of these Constitutions three copies were made, and they 
were signed by Henry, the bishops, and thirty-seven barons. 
-On the king's demanding that the prelates should affix their 
seals to the documents, Becket said that he had fulfilled 
his promise, and would do no more. " His conduct on this 
trying occasion," says Lingard, "has been severely con- 
demned for its duplicity. To me he appears more deserving 
of pity than of censure. His was not the tergiversation of 
one who seeks to effect his object by fraud and deception ; 
it was rather the hesitation of a mind oscillating between 
the decision of his own judgment, and the opinions and 
apprehensions of others. His conviction seems to have 
remained unchanged ; he yielded, to avoid the charge of 
having, by his obstinacy, drawn destruction on the heads 
of his fellow-bishops." Scarcely had the Clarendon con- 
vention been dissolved, when the primate became the prey 
of remorse. Immediately after his arrival at Canterbury 
he voluntarily ceased to officiate as bishop, and despatched 
a report to Pope Alexander, begging absolution from any 
censures he had incurred. In his reply the Pontiff encour- 


uges Becket, grants the absolution from censure, and orders 
liim to resume liis functions. In vain king Henry now tried 
to work on tlie feai's of Alexander, causing it to b^ reported 
that he was about to recognize Barbarossa's anti-Pope. 
But being foiled, Becket was finally summoned before a 
council at Northampton, to answer a series of charges. 
When the archbishop appeared, Henry accused him of con- 
tempt f(n- the royal authority, because he had answered a 
citation of the royal court, not in person, but b}' attorney. 
The court " amerced " the archbishop, that is, put him " at 
the king's mercy " to the extent of his entire property. After 
many iniquitous and absurd demands had been made by the 
king, the zealous archbishop thus protested against the 
decisions of the court : " Future ages will pass judgment 
upon your sentence ; it is a new kind of de-cision, but per- 
haps in conformity with the new Canons of Clarendon. It 
has never been heard that an archbishop of Canterbury 
could be judged, for any cause whatsoever, in a court of the 
king of England ; that is forbidden by the dignity of his 
church and by his personal authority, and because he is 
the spiritual father of all the rulers in the kingdom, and is 
to be alwavs obeyed by all." The bishops now consulted 
together. Foli(^t of London urged Becket to resign his see, 
saying : " If you remember, father, whence the lord king 
lifted you up, and what he has conferred upon you ; and if 
you consider the evil state of the times, and what ruin you 
are preparing for the Catholic Church and for us. in case 
you resist the king in these things, you will resign, not 
only the archbishropric of Canterbury, but ten of them, if 
you had them. Then, perhaps, if the king sees you so 
humble, he may give everything back to you." Henry of 
Winchester bravely sustained the primate : " Such advice, 
so pernicious to the Catholic Church, affects and confounds 
us all. If our archbishop, the primate of all England, sets 
us the example of yielding up, at the beck, and because of 
the threats of the king, the care of souls entrusted to him, 
what will be the condition of the Church ? Nothing will 
be done according to law ; everything will be in confusion." 
The bishop of Lincoln, whom the chronicler well styles " a 


simple man, and rather imprudent," gasped out : '" It is 
evident that they seek the life of thi-s man. He must yield 
up his diocese or his life. What good the archbishopric 
will do him without his life I cannot see." The other 
bishops followed, all urging Becket to yield. 

On the morning of October 13th the primate celebrated 
mass, and then proceeded to the court. The bishop of 
Exeter soon entered, and kneeling, begged Becket to have 
pity on both himself and his brethren. The primate an- 
swered : " Fly, if you wish ; you do not appreciate the 
things of God. ' The other prelates then came to the 
primate, and Hilary of Chichester, in their name, delivered 
himself of this speech : " Once you were our archbishop, 
and we were bound to obey you. But since you, having 
sworn fidelity to the king, that is, having promised to guard 
his life, members, and earthly dignity, and to observe the 
customs adduced by him, now try to destroy them ; there- 
fore we pronounce you a perjurer, and a perjured archbishop 
we will not obey. We place ourselves under the protecti(jn 
of the lord Pope, and call you to his presence to answer for 
these things." Becket simply answered, " I hear." The 
lay barons then entered the hall, and Leicester, reluctantly 
compelled to deliver the sentence of the court, told the 
primate to hearken to the decision. Becket arose, and 
said : " My sentence ? Son and earl, first hearken to me. 
You know how faithfully I have served the king, and how 
hesitatingly I accepted this office in order to please him ; 
you know how I was declared free from all secul r claims. 
I ought not, and will not, answer for what occurred before 
my consecration. As the soul is more worthy than the 
body, so you are bound to obey me rather than an earthly 
monarch. Neither law nor reason permits children to con- 
temn or to judge a father : hence I decline the tribunal of 
the king, yours, and any other, being amenabJe, under 
God, to the lord Pope alone, to whom, before you all, I now 
appeal, placing the church of Canterbury, my order, and 
my dignity, with all pertaining to them, under God's and 
his protection. As for you, my brothers and fellow-bisnops, 
\Tho obey man rather than God, I summon you all to the 


presence and judgment of the lord Pope ; and, strong in the* 
authority of the Catholic Church and of the Apostolic See,. 
I depart hence." He immediately left the castle, and the 
people, who had heard that he had been murdered, accom- 
panied him with shouts of joy to his quarters. Here, 
however, his knights and pages tearfully begged to be- 
released from their fealty, and to be dismissed ; and he 
cheerfully granted the prayer. At midnight, disguised as- 
a monk, he left the monastery, with three companions, and 
after three weeks of perilous adventure, he reached Grave- 
lines, in France, and hastened to pay his respects to king 
Louis VIL, and to Pope Alexander, then at Sens. 

When Henry found that Becket had fled, he wrote to- 
Louis, begging him not to allow '• the late primate " to- 
remain in France. When Louis read the epistle, he re- 
marked : "He is king of England, and I also am a king ; 
but I Avould not depose the least one of the clerics of my 
kingdom. It has ever been a glory of the French crown 
to defend exiles, especially ecclesiastics, from persecution." 
Becket soon visited Pope Alexander at Sens. He found 
that a number of English bishops and barons had worked 
so well for Henry, that not a few among the cardinals were 
prejudiced against the primate. Having handed the Pon- 
tifl' a copy of the Clarendon Constitutions, Becket delivered' 
to him the episcopal ring, and declared he would long ago- 
have resigned his diocese, had he not considered it unbe- 
coming to do so at the whim of a king. Alexander returned" 
the ring, and exhorted him to persevere in the good fight. 
Having read the Constitutions, the Pontiff said : " Among 
these abominable things, there is nothing good ; but there 
are some which may, in some way, be tolerated by the 
Church. The greater number of them, however, have been 
already condemned by ancient Councils, as directly opposed 
to the sacred Canons." From the Vatican Codex in which, 
after the famous Quadripartite. Li/'' of St. TJinnms, the Con- 
stitutions are recorded, we learn that ten of tliein were 
absolutely condemned. With regard to Mie eighth, which 
prohibited appeals to Rome, St. Anselm had already told 
William IL that " to swear to that is to abjure St. Peter; 


;and he who abjures St. Peter, uudoubtedly abjures Christ, 
who made him prince of His Church." Eveu Henry 11. 
was glad to recognize the Pontiff's right to receive appeals 
when, a short time after the exile of Becket, he dreaded 
lest the primate would excommunicate him, " and was 
compelled," says Becket {Epistles, B. i., no. 135), " to have 
recourse to the See of Peter and to invoke the name of the 
lord Pope, which he had before commanded not to be in- 
voked." When Pope Alexander dismissed the archbishop 
of Canterbur3^ he recommended him to the hospitality of 
the Cistercian abbot of Pontigny, and it was gladly ac- 
corded. During the year 1165, Henry was occupied in a 
disastrous campaign in Wales, and could pay no attention 
to Church matters. But when, covered with infamy (1), he 
re-entered London, he turned his mind to vengeance on 
Becket. All the primate's estates were confiscated ; all the 
clergy who had countenanced his late actions were deprived 
of their revenues ; all of his relatives and friends, without 
distinction of age or sex, were banished, and compelled by 
oath to visit the primate, and recount to him their suffer- 
ings. We may imagine the anguish of Becket when four 
hundred of these unfortunates, among them his own sister 
and her infants, upbraided him as the cause of their 
woes. (2). Henry also wreaked his vengeance on the hosts 
of the archbishop, by threatening to expel all the Cis- 
tercians from his dominions, both British and French, if 
they continued their hospitality. To save them, Becket 
left their monastery, and King Louis assigned him a resi- 
dence in Sens. In June of 1166, he resolved to bring things 
to a crisis, and accordingly issued a decree, excommuni- 
cating the ministers of Henry who had communicated with 
the anti-Pope, and those who had framed the Clarendon 
Constitutions, or who had appropriated Church property. 
He also wrote a strong, though affectionate, letter to Henry, 
from which we take the following passages : " Christian 
princes have been accustomed to obey the Church, not to 

(1) As a consolation for his failure in this war, Henry satiated his thirst for blood on his 
hostages, the children of the first families of Wales. The eyes of all the males were 
plucked out and the noses and ears of all the fe nales amputated. 

(2) Pope Alexander. Kin? Louis VII.. and the queen of Sicily amply relieved the neces- 
sities of all the-e people. The sister of Bucket found an asylum at Clermont, for which the 
Pontiff thanked the abbot. Eitixtlea of St. ThomaHy ii., n. 112. 


think first of their own power ; they have always bowed 
their heads to bishops, and never presumed to judge them. 
Two powers rule the world, namely, the sacred authority 
of the Pontiff, and the royal power ; and of these the 
priestly authority is of the greater weight, inasmuch as, at 
the divine judgment, priests have to render an account of 
the kings themselves. You should have known for certain 
that you depend upon the sacerdotal authority, and that it 
ought not be made to bend to your will. Many Pontiffs 

have excommunicated both emperors and kings I 

write these things only, for the present, my lord, passing 
certain others in silence, until I see what effect my words 
produce. If they excite in you a worthy repentance, I 
shall rejoice with those who will tell me that my son, the 
king, was dead, but now lives, that he was lost, but is now 
found. But if you do not hearken to me, who always pray 
for you, with abundant tears and deep moans, before the 
Majesty of the Body of Christ, I shall certainly there cry 
out against you, and shall call upon God to arise and to 
judge His cause, to be mindful of the injuries heaped daily 

by the king of England and his upon God and His 

Where are the emperors, kings, and princes, the arch- 
bishops and bishops, who have preceded us ? They have- 
labored, and others have taken up their labors. Thus 
passes the world and its glory. Remember your last end, 
and you will never sin, or, if you do sin, you will repent, 
while yet alive." Pope Alexander now appointed the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury Apostolic legate for all England, 
excepting, however, the archbishop of York from the lega- 
tine jurisdiction, because, to please Henry, the Pontiff' had, 
some time since, made that prelate legate to all, excepting 
the primate. When Becket had received this appointment, 
he at once commenced its functions. He condemned the 
Constitutions of Clarendon, especially cert.iin six chapters 
which he recites in his condemnatory letters to the English 
bishops. He excommunicated all the observers and pro- 
moters of the Constitutions, and absolved the prelates from 
their oath to observe them. He also excommunicated by 
name those who had communicated with the German schis- 


maties, and those who had invaded the property of the 
church of Canterbury. In these letters to the English 
prelates, Becket is especially severe on the following chap- 
ters of Chirendon. 1st, that no appeal should be taken 
to the Apostolic See, unless with permission of the king. 
2d, that no prelate should visit the Supreme Pontiff 
without royal license. 3d, that no king's man could be 
excommunicated, and no royal domain or king's man's do- 
main be interdicted, without the royal consent. 4th, that 
no bishop should prosecute any one for perjury or heresy. 
5th, that clerics should appear before secular tribunals. 
6th, that the king, or any layman, should treat of case* 
concerning tithes, etc. Pope Alexander confirmed the 
action of his legate and wrote a warning letter to Henry, 
in which occurs this passage : " We have not thought it 
proper to shut our eyes to your obstinacy any longer ; nor 
shall we again close the mouth of the aforesaid bishop, but 
shall allow him to freely do his duty and to punish you, 
with the arms of ecclesiastical severity, for the injuries done 
to him and to his church." (1). 

The mighty Henry affected indifference at the threats of 
the Pontiff and of the primate ; but he gave orders for the 
searching of every person entering England, and for the 
seizure of all letters coming from Pope Alexander or 
Becket. (2). He also decreed the most terrible punishments 
for the bearers of such missives, and compelled al] freemen 
to swear to obey no censure against king or realm. (3). He 
even threatened to recognize the new creature of Barba- 
rossa, the anti-Pope Guido of Crema ; but, bad as many of 
the English prelates were, they were not prejDared for 
schism. Hence Henry disavowed the promise made to 
Barbarossa, and even prevailed upon his ambassadors to 
deny that they had given it. (4). The king now tried to 
inirchase friends at Rome, and throughout Italy. The 
Pontiff spurned his gifts ; a few of the cardinals, and some 

of the Roman barons also some of the magistrates of the 

(1) Roger of Hoveden. AimaU. 

(2) Epistles of St. Thomas, ii., 249. 

(3) Gervase, 1400. 

(4) John of Oxford, a favorite of Henry, and ever foremost in any dirty work for his 
master, was sent to Rome, and there swore to Pope Alexander that the king had done 
nothing contrary to the honor of the Pontiff. Boseham, ii., 256. 


republics, accepted them, but the money was thrown away. 
During the years 1167-70 Henry tried many expedients ; he 
even gave audience to Becket on two occasions, during his 
own sojourn in France, but each time promised to respect 
the rights of the Church only " saving the royal dignity ;" 
while the primate always professed himself willing to 
obey the king, " saving the rights of the Church." For 
several years the barons of Henry's continental dominions 
had been appealing, according to the feudal jurisprudence, 
to their own and Henry's suzerain, the king of France ; and 
Louis, quite naturally, had not been slow to aid them ; but 
in 1169, a peace was concluded, and in 1170, Henrj- prom- 
ised king Louis that he would be reconciled with the 
archbishop of Canterbury. (1). Pope Alexander having 
at lenjifth resolved to excommunicate the obstinate mon- 
arch, Henry proposed that the primate should return to 
England. All his rights, lands, etc., were to be restored. 
The Pontiff consented, but sent to Henry the bishops of 
Piou?n and Nevers, to inform him that if his promises were 
not fulfilled in forty days from date, their orders were to 
publish an interdict in all his continental dominions. In 
vain Henry threatened and fawned by turns ; he finally 
consented to meet Becket at Fretivalle, on the Touraine 

On July 22d, Henry and Louis were conversing in a mead- 
ow near Fretivalle, when Becket, accompanied by the 
bishops of Rouen and Nevers, was seen coming towards 
them. Putting spurs to his horse, Henry uncovered and 
advanced to meet his former friend. Immediately he com- 
menced to chat familiarly, and when he said, " I sliall treat 
as traitors those who have betrayed us both," Becket dis- 

(1) In ail interview bet veen Louis and Henry, at which the primate was present. Henry 
(f)iiiplaine(l i>f Hecliet's constant use, in ]u> profession of tliieliiv. of tlie clause, "savin}: Ilie 
ritfhts of Uie Church." He said to Louis, " Listen to tliis, luy lord, if you please. Whatever 
■displeases hiiii is, he says, contrary to the honor of (iod. Heclaitusall that is nniie for 
himself. But. lest I luaV api)ear to go atrainst (iod's limior, or to resist him too much. I 
make this otTer : What Ilie irreatest and holiest of his iiredecessois aceorded to ihe least of 
mine let him accord to me. and I am content." Becki't still refused to yield the clause, 
"saving'' the riL'hts nf the ChurcV:,"' and for a lime I^ouis was sn displeased that it seemed 
he would withdraw his cotinteiianci- from tie primate. Hut he soon sent for Becket, and 
falling at his feet, exclaimed : "■ Mv lord and fathi'r, you alone see this thin).' rlirhtly. We 
were hiinii wtien we counselled you. In voin- cause, or rather in tliat of Goti, to abandon 
God's honor to the whim of man. We are sorrv, father : foririve us our sin. I offer to Goil 
and to you. myself and mv kimrdom, and from this hi)ur, so lonsr as God jrrants me life. I 
shall not l)e "wantiiu: iii'aiil to vou aiul yours " Qjuuiri]). Life, B. 11., c 27 and 98. 
Oervaise, 1400. Ktiistka of SI. T/moki.s, b. ill., no. 79. 


mounted, and would have knelt, but the monarch made him 
remount, and continued, " My lord archbishop, let us re- 
new our old affection, but do me honor before those who 
now watch us." It was then understood that the archbishop 
should remain for a few days in the court of Henry, that 
the world might be convinced of their reconciliation. But 
in spite of this parade of submission, Henry delayed the 
execution of his promises, and it was only on Nov. 12th, when 
the interdict was on the very point of being launched, that 
-he restored the lands of Canterbury see ; and then the rents 
had been collected, and the cattle and corn removed. Be- 
fore Pope Alexander heard of the above reconciliation, he 
Jiad issued letters of suspension against the English bishops 
who had lately officiated, in defiance of Becket's prohibition, 
at the coronation of young prince Henry. In the interests 
of peace, the primate resolved to make no use of the Pon- 
tiff's decree, trusting to Alexander's good sense for excuse. 
But it happened that the three prelates concerned were 
informed of its being in the hands of Becket, and they dis- 
patched a body of soldiers, under Kanulph de Broc, to seize 
it when he should land. When the primate reached Whit- 
sand, he neard of this proceeding, and sent the decree 
ahead of himself by a courier, who publicly handed it to the 
prelates involved, and they immediately departed for Nor- 
mandy to excite the anger of Henry. On Dec. 3d, Becket 
was joyfully received by the clergy and people of his see 
of Canterbury ; on Christmas he preached, and toward the 
end of his discourse he remarked that his enemies would 
soon be satiated with his blood. On the 28th, Keginald 
Pitzurse, William Tracy, Hugh de Moreville, and Kichard 
Brito arrived from Normandy, and assembling their fol- 
lowers at the Broc manor of Saltwood, prepared to silence 
forever the zealous archbishop. They had heard Henry, 
«nraged because of the representations of the three bish- 
ops condemned by Pope Alexander, cry out, " Of all the 
.cowards whom I have benefited, is there not one who will 
free me from this troublesome priest? " On the afternoon 
of the 29th, the four knights presented themselves at the 
archiepiscopal palace, saying that they had a message from 


the king to the primate. When admitted to audience, they 
ordered the archbishop to absolve the prehites of York, 
London, and Salisbury. Becket answered that the kiii<^ 
had consented to his publication of the Pontifical letters 
suspending these bishops ; that the case of Roger of York 
was reserved to Rome ; that he was ready to absolve the 
bishops of London and Salisbury when they swore to sub- 
mit to the decisions of the Church. The knights then 
declared that he must leave England. Becket replied, 
■'No. If I am allowed to perform my duty, well and good ; 
if not, the will of God be done." Fitzurse then ordered 
all the household, in the name of the king, to watch lest 
their master should escape. The closing scenes of the 
tragedy are thus described by Liugard : " At the departure 
of the knights, the archbishop returned to his seat appar- 
ently cool and collected. Neither in tone nor in gesture 
did he betray the slightest apprehension, though consterna- 
tion and despair were depicted in every countenance around 
him. It was the hour of the evening service, and at the 
sound of the psalmody in the choir, a voice exclaimed, ' To 
the church, it will afford protection.' But Becket had said 
that he would await them there, and refused to move from 
the place. Word was now brought that the knights had 
forced their way through the garden and made an entrance 
by the windows. A few moments later they were heard 
at no great distance, breaking down with axes a strong par- 
tition of oak which impeded their progress. In a paroxysm^ 
of terror the archbishop's attendants closed around him, 
and, notwithstanding his resistance, bore him with pious 
violence through the cloister into the church. The door 
was immediately closed and barred against the assassins, 
who were already in sight. Becket walked leisurely along 
the transept, and was ascending the steps which led to his 
favorite altar, when he heard the cries of the knights de- 
manding admission at the door. Without hesitation he 
ordered it to be thrown open, saying that the house of God 
should not be made a military fortress. Immediately his- 
attendants, monks and clergy, dispersed to conceal them- 
selves, some behind the columns, others under the altars^ 


Had he followed their example, he might have saved his 
life ; for it was growing dark, and both the crypts and a 
staircase before him, which led to the roof, offered places 
of concealment. But he turned to meet his enemies, and, 
stationing himself with his back against a column, between 
the altars of St. Mary and St. Bennet, waited their approach. 
The four knights and their tA'elve companions rushed into 
the church with drawn swords, and loud cries. ' To me, ye 
king's men,' shouted their leader. ' Where is the trai- 
tor ?' exclaimed Hugh of Horsey, a military subdeacon, 
known by the characteristic surname of Mauclerc. (1). No 
answer was returned ; but to the question, ' where is the 
archbishop?' Becket replied, 'Here I am, the archbishop, 
but no traitor. What is your will ? ' They turned to him, 
and insisted that he should immediately absolve all he had 
placed under ecclesiastical censures ; to which he replied, 
that, until they had promised satisfaction, he could not. 
' Then die,' exclaimed a voice. ' I am ready,' returned the 
prelate, ' to die for the cause of God and His Church. But 
1 forbid you, in the name of Almighty God, to touch any 
one of my household, clerk or layman.' There seems to 
have been some hesitation on the part of the murderers. 
They would rather have shed his blood without the church 
than within its walls. An attempt was made by some of 
them to drag him away ; but he resisted it with success, 
through the aid of a clergyman called Edward Grim (2), 
who threw his arms around the archbishop's waist. ' Regi- 
nald ' said Becket to Fitzurse, "how daie you do this? 
Remember that you have been my man.' (3). ' I am now 
the king's man,' replied the assassin, aiming a blow at the 
primate's head. Grim interposed Ins arm, which was broken 
and severed in two ; still the sword passed through Beck- 
et's cap, and wounded him on the crown. As he felt the 
blood trickling down his cheek, he wiped it away with his 
sleeve, and having joined his hands, and bent his head in 
the attitude of prayer, said : ' Into Thy hands, O Lord, I 

(1) That is, the wicked cleric. 

(S) When John of Salisluiry, Fitzstephcu, and others, afterwards boasted that they hail 
stood hy their lord to the end. Grim declared that all but himself ran away. 
(3; That is, he had been the primate s liege-mau or vassal. 


commend my spirit.' In this posture, with his face to his 
murderers, aud without shrinking or speaking, he awaited a 
second stroke, which threw him on his knees and elbows. 
The third stroke was given by Kichard Brito, v.-ith such 
violence that he cut otf the upper part of the archbishop's 
head, and broke his own sword on the pavement. The 
murderers were retiring, when Hugh of Horsey, turning 
back, set his foot on the neck of the corpse, and, drawing 
the brain out of the skull with the point of his sword, scat- 
tered it around. ' Fear not,' he said, ' the man will never 
rise again.' They returned to the palace, which they ri- 
fled, taking away with them spoil, as it was estimated, to 
the value of two thousand marks." 

William of Newburg (1), an author contemporary with 
St. Thomas of Canterbury, thought that the primate acted 
imprudently in sending into England the letters of Pope 
Alexander suspending the bishops of York, London, and 
Salisbury : " He was fervent in his zeal for justice, but 
whether it was prudent, God knows. It is not permitted 
to our littleness to rashly judge of the acts of so great a 
man. However, I think that the most blessed Pope Greg- 
ory would have been more lenient when the relations with 
the king were so strained, and that, for the sake of peace, 
he would have borne with what might have been tolerated, 
without danger to the Christian faith." With regard to 
the saint's prudence, there was scarcely any room for its 
exercise in the premises. The suspensor}' decree was is- 
sued by his superior, the Roman Pontifl", and it was his 
duty to promulgate it. He did, indeed, at first, intend to 
suppress the letters, but the infamous brigandage of the 
three prelates showed that justice, not merc3\ had to be 
exercised. As for the danger of rekindling the ire of the 
king, we know that Henry had approved of the execution 
of the Papal sentence. This is attested by the authors of 
the Quadripartite Life of St. Thomas, viz.. Becket's clerk 
Herbert, John of Salisbury, William of Canterbury, and tlie 
monk Alan, all of whom were intimate with the ]irimate, and 
better in formed than was William of Newburg. Nor. says 

(!) EnuUsh Affairs, B. ii, c. 25. 


Alexacdre, would the great St. Gregory have acted as this 
chronicler would have had the archbishop act, if his prob- 
able course can be conjectured from the rule he lays down 
in his Morals, B. sxxi., c. 14 : " Often we could rest quiet 
and unshaken, if we avoided the exercise of justice against 
the wicked. But if our souls are filled with the desire of 
eternal life, if they regard the light of truth, if the flame 
of holy fervor is kindled in them, we will offer ourselves 
for the defense of justice, to the extent that the cause de- 
mands, and even though they do not seek us, we will op- 
230se the wicked who work injustice." 

The reader will not be displeased or uninterested, if we 
conclude this chapter with the beautiful apostrophe by 
Alexandre, which is placed at the end of his lengthy and 
exhaustive dissertation on St. Thomas of Canterbury : " To 
thee, most holy bishop and martyr, I now direct my words, 
and suppliantly beseech thee, that with the God whom 
thou enjoyest thou wilt intercede, that the Church, the 
Spouse of Christ, whom thou lovedst as He did, and for 
whom thou didst give thy life, may have perpetual peace ; 
that the Koman Pontiffs and bishops may be endowed with 
sanctity, and with zeal for the liberty and discipline of the 
Church ; that the secular and regular clergy may despise 
the world, and be pious and fervent ; that the most serene 
king of Great Britain and the whole kingdom may return 
to the true faith and the communion of the Koman Church, 
which it enjoyed in thy times ; that an overflowing abun- 
dance of heavenly gifts, a long life, and lasting happiness, 
may be granted to the most Christian king, the great Louis, 
rightly styled by the holy Pope Innocent XL ' the extirpa- 
tor of heresy ; ' that tranquillity and prosperity may ever 
be the portion of the French church and of the French 
kingdom, from which, while thou wast an exile in these 
parts, thou didst receive consolation, support, and protec- 
tion." (1). 

(1) St. Thomas of Canterbury was. said the late Frederick Faber, " the apostle of high 
principle, the saint whose every word and work was a condemnation of cowardice, of time- 
servinar. of timidity, of pusillanimity, of all unworthy concession, of all trembling in the 
face of power, of all bartering of principle for peace or gain, of all circuitous roads to a 
rightful and a godly end; in a word, of every profane weakness that ever afflicted the 
church fiom within or without, from her children or her foes .... While the men of St. 
Thomas's day found fault with his want of discretion, and blamed him becaine he allowed 
his rude, uncouth, grotesque austerities to appear amid the splendors ol Henry's ecu: 4,, 



The Waldenses. 

About the year 1160, a certain citizen of Lyons having 
suddenly fallen dead, one of the spectators, Peter Waldo 
by name, was so affected with terror, that he immediately 
gave most of his goods to the poor, and began to exhort his 
neighbors to lead a more perfect life. He soon formed quite 
a large association, the members of which practised volun- 
tary poverty. At first, there seems to have been nothing 
reprehensible in the doctrine or conduct of the Waldenses, 
or " Poor Men of Lyons," as they were sometimes called ; 
they seem to have regarded themselves as a kind of relig- 
ious order in the Church, and were by no means hostile to 
her hierarchy or any of her institutions ; in 1212 they even 
applied, but in vain, to Pope Innocent IIL for an approba- 
tion of their rule, an imitation of that of the Friars Minor 
of St. Francis of Assisi, then commencing their apostolic 
career. In fact, even when they had fallen into doctrinal 
error, the pure Waldenses were noted for apparent integrity 
of morals, and an external manifestation, at least, of evan- 
gelical simplicity, which greatly added to their numbers. 
One of the first innovations of the Waldenses was the free 
and promiscuous interpretation of the Scriptures. Accord- 
ing to Reinerius Saccho (1), who had been a bishop among 
them, they were thoroughly logical and consistent in their 
application of the new principle: "I knew a rustic who 
could recite the Book of Job, word for word, and I met 

yet all the while tbev were alluretl and attiaoted l>y tlieiii .... What was it, lu the iiiau- 
nerof his strife, whether with the en.wned kinsr upou his ilirone, or the barons or 
even, wliich was harder still, with his courtly l.roiher-bishops, wIkU wa.sit tliai so olTended 
men v It was the seemin),' hvpocrisv, it was the apparent double faeedness nf all that he 
did It was that holy dout)le spirit which the Church has in her, and win. b all the saints of 
Cod possessed: that he was luiinbl... with what the world called an alTciedly servile 
humility, to the poor, and lonelv, and fallen, and little ones of Jesus ; but in the face of the 
rude kiiiL' and in the face of hmnaii power an<i int.'llect. he seemed proud and arro^'aut 
and |)resuiiiptnoiis, drawitiLT himself up within himself, and m.t stoopinK to make the 

sliirlitest concession The ashes of St. Tliomas. scattered to the winds far and wi.le, iby 

the Reformers, in I.ViS), iHouRbt ilown ticul's curse up..n tlu- land. '1 hey have brouirhl 
down the curse of littleness, of pusillaiiimity,-a <-urse the very characteristic of whleh is 
lowering' and deKradiiiff, even as the curse that came down on the KRyptians laud. 
Noteo on DixtritKil ^'H^;Vr^s, p. :^. sect. -•, c H. , ,, , ,r, . . ,^a .1,0. 

(1) Heinerius Saccho abjured the Waldenslan heresy about the year U>1, and entered the 
Order of Freachlni? Friars Just founded l.v St. nominlc He wrote a treatise On Heretics, 
ia whlcli au account is Klveii or 'he Waldenses and of their numerous proReuy of sects- 


.mauy who knew perfectly the entire New Testament ; but 
;as they are ignorant laymen, they interpret the Scriptures 
falsely and corruptedly. Thus, that passage of John i., 'and 
His own received Him not,' they explain, saying, ' thai is, 
the swine ; ' and that of the Psalmist (Ixvii. 31), ' Rebuke 
the wild beasts of the reeds,' they read as ' Rebuke the wild 
beasts of the swallow.' " (1). When the Waldenses, or Poor 
Men of Lyons, were reproved for taking upon themselves 
the right of explaining the Bible without authority, they 
■replied that they were sent by God. Pope Innocent III., 
in an epistle to the faithful of Metz (2), therefore wrote : 
'' The office of teacher ought not to be indifferently assumed 
by any one ; for, according to the Apostle, ' how shall they 
preach, if they be not sent ? ' And the very Truth com- 
manded the Apostles, ' pray the Lord of the harvest to send 
laborers into His harvest.' . . . Since this interior mission 
is hidden, it is not enough that any one assert that he is 
sent by God; any heretic may assert this of himself." 
With regard to the French version of the Bible used by the 
Waldenses, Pope Innocent III. says that he has written to 
the bishop and chapter of Metz (3), ordering them to in- 
quire : " W^ho is the author of said translation ? What wa?' 
his intention? What is the faith of those who use it?" 
But the Waldenses would not abandon their practice of 
independent teaching ; and their leaders began to assert 
that the clergy, many of whom were leading far from 
blameless lives, were jealous of the Poor Men, and felt the 
purity of these to be a reproach to themselves. Reinerius 
Saccho says of the original Waldenses (4) : '• They present 
an appearance of piety ; for they lead good lives before 
men, believe rightly about God, and hold all the articles of 
the Creed ; but they blaspheme against the Roman Church 
and the clergy, and the multitude lend them ready ears. . . . 
In their habits they are composed and modest, with no 
vanity of dress, for they use no precious clothes, nor very 
abject materials. They do not trade, for fear of falling into 
lies, oaths, and fraud ; they live, like artisans, by labor. 
Even their teachers are weavers. They do not accumulate 

(1) That Is, they read harundinis as hirundinis- (3) B. H., epist. 131. 

(t) Epistle to the Cvstaxian and Morimond Abbots. (4) Loc clt. c. 4 and 7. 


riches, but are content with necessaries , they are chaste, 
especially the Leonists, and are temperate in food and 
drink, going not to taverns, or dances, or other vanities. 
They refrain from anger. They are always working, learn- 
ing, or teaching ; hence they pray very little. They go to 
church, offer, confess, communicate, and hear sermons, 
but in order that they may trap the preacher in his dis- 
course. They are known by the precision and modesty of 
their words ; they abstain from scurrility, detraction, levity, 
lies, and oaths ; nor will they say ' truly ' or 'certainly,' for 
they deem such words to be oaths. Rarely will they an- 
swer questions ; if they are asked if they know the gospel 
or the epistle, they will reply : ' Who would teach us 
them ? ' Or they may say : ' These things are for men of 
profound intellect.' " 

But the Waldenses did not long confine themselves to 
malignant criticisms of the clergy, and a pretence of supe- 
rior sanctity ; very soon gross errors of doctrine began to 
circulrie among them, denying, as they did, the exclusive 
magistracy of the teaching Church. We learn their errors 
frora Saccho, their ex-bishop ; from Claude Seyssel, arch- 
bishop of Turin in 1517 (1) ; from Bernard of Font-Cauld 
(2) ; and from Eberhard of Bethune. (3). They taught that 
the Eoman Church was not the Church of Christ, but " a 
church of the malignant, which had been introduced by 
Pope Sylvester I., when he allowed the Spouse of Christ to 
be poisoned by the possession of temporal goods." The 
Waldenses alone were the children of Christ. The Eoman 
church, was a sink of foulness, and the whore of the Apo- 
calypse ; the Pope Avas the head and front of all error, and 
the bishops were Scribes, while monks were Pliarisees. 
God, not prelates, was to be obeyed. All in the Church are 
equal, for does not Matthew say (xxiii. 8), " All of you are 
brethren ? ' Tithes ought not to be paid, for the primitive 
Church had none. The clergy should have no ]iossessions, 
for do we not read in Deuteronomy XYIII. 1, " The priests- 
"'ball have no part or inheritance with the rest of Israel ? " 

O Au'iii'^t ihi Wiihlrnsian Sect and its Errors. 
2) Aurvnt thf Wiihliisfs. c. 1 (util i. 
^3) .iiiti-Hi nxii. 


It is a sin to endow a clinrc]i or a monastery. All the cler- 
gy should labor with their hands. The Waldenses ad- 
mitted only two Sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist. 
They did not regard the former as necessary for salvation. 
They denied the real presence, unless at the moment of 
Communion. Matrimony was not a Sacrament. The use 
of matrimony was prohibited, as a mortal sin, to a couple 
whom experience had tauglit that the wife was barren. 
Orders they admitted in no sense ; any good layman, any 
good woman, could be a minister. They rejected the doc- 
trine of Purgatory. There was no such thing as venial 

In a short time the pure Waldenses had nearly disap- 
peared. Following the inevitable law of heresy, they gave 
rise to numerous sects, the chief of which were the Kuncarii, 
Sciscidenses, Ortlibenses, Ordibarii, Cathari, Patarini, and 
Passagini. 1. The Runcarii had for a distinguishing error 
the doctrine that no sin could be committed by means of 
the body from the waist down, for, do we not read in the 
Bible, " From the heart proceed fornications ? " 2. The 
Sciscidenses differed from the other Waldenses, in that 
they received the Eucharistic doctrine. 3. The Ortlibenses 
avowed a belief in all the articles of Faith, but gave them a 
mystic interpretation. They admitted a Trinity, but only 
as existing after the conception of Christ. From the seed 
of Joseph, Mary had a son, Jesus, whom she brought up in 
the sect of the Waldenses, and thus he became the Son of 
God. A third person afterward came into existence, name- 
ly, St. Peter, who, co-operating with Jesus, became the 
Holy Ghost. The world is eternal. There will be no res- 
urrection of our bodies. The last judgment will be held 
when the Pope and emperor become Waldenses. They 
denied the passion and death of Christ ; the cross which 
He carried was merely a life of penance, that is, a life spent 
as an Ortlibensian Waldensis, which life cannot admit of 
sin. Matrimony is good, if the parties lead continent lives^; 
but the conjugal act is an evil thing. 4. The Ordibarii 
held that Christ was the son of Joseph and Mary, and he 
was saved only because he restored the Waldenses. 5. 


The Catliari, themselves subdivided into Albanians, Can- 
torezenes, and Baganolese!, held, as a fundamental principle, 
that the devil is the author of the world and all in it. All 
ihe Sacraments are of his invention. Matrimony and its 
use are sinful ; all flesh is unclean, because of the sexual 
union. The souls of men are rebel spirits ezpelled from 
heaven. The Aluanians, principally Lombards, were them- 
selves divided into two factious, each with distinctive 
errors. The first, headed by Gelesinanza of Verona, were 
very clear in their profession of Manicheisra ; they taught 
that each Principle had created its own world and angels ; 
that the devil aud his angels had mounted to heaven, there 
fought with the archangel Michael, and pulled out of heav- 
en a third part of the good Principle's angels ; that these 
spirits are put into the bodies of men and brutes, pass 
through various kinds of existence, and finally return to 
heaven ; that the Son of God became man, died, etc., only 
in appearance ; that all the patriarchs and the Baptist were 
ministers of the devil ; that the Old Testament was the 
work of Satan, excepting the books of Job, Psalms, Solo- 
mon, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and the Prophets, some of 
which were written in heaven; that the world will have no 
end ; that the last judgment has already been held ; and 
that, outside this world, there is no punishment. The sec- 
ond faction of the Albanian Catharian Waldenses, led by 
John of Lyons, held that the good Principle produced good 
creatures from all eternity, as the sun emits rays ; the good 
God is not omnipotent, but finds His efforts frustiated by 
the evil Principle ; that Christ could have sinned, but that 
the good Principle would not permit Him to do so : that all 
the Scriptures were composed in heaven, and that Adam 
jind Eve were formed there; that the patriarchs and the 
Baptist pleased God, but were men of the other world ; 
that Christ really died, but in that other world. The Can- 
torezene Catluiri believed that God created the angels and 
the four elements from nothing; that the devil made all 
visible things, among thorn the first human bodies, into 
which he put angels who had sinned ; that everything in 
the Old Testament, excepting what Christ and his Apostles 



^praised, was the work of the devil ; that the nature of 
Christ was angelic, and (according to some of them), Mary 
was an angel ; that Christ laid aside His body when ascend- 
ing to heaven, but will resume it on the last day, when it 
win be resolved into matter ; that the souls of Mary and 
the saints, like the body of Christ, remain in space until 
the last day, when, unlike Christ's body, they will enter in- 
to glory. The Bagnolese Cathari held that God created 
human souls before He created the worlds ; that then they 
sinned ; that Mary was an angel, and the body of Christ 
celestial ; in other things they agreed with the Cantorez- 
• enes. 6. The Patarini, who created much trouble in 
Northern Italy, differed from the pure Waldenses only in 
asserting that the devil created all visible things, and that 
matrimony was as bad as adultery. 7. The Passagini held 
that the Mosaic Law should be strictly and literally ob- 
served ; that the three Persons of the Trinity are not 
consubstantial. The reader will bear in mind that, although 
the above-mentioned sectarians were offshoots of the pure 
Waldenses, yet, both in doctrine and morals, they differed 
much from the Poor Men of Lyons. These enthusiasts did 
not at once fall away from the faith, but only when they 
failed (as the abbot of Ursperg tells us) in obtaining the 
approval of Pope Innocent III. After the third Council of 
the Lateran. being contumacious, they became schismatics ; 
the next step to heresy, was, of course, very easy.^ The 
Waldenses were condemned in various provincial Synods 
held between the years 1163 and 1179. In the latter year, 
the Eleventh General Council (Third of the Lateran), in its 
Fourth and Twenty-Seventh Canons, condemned the Wal- 
denses and Albigenses, then split up into numerous sects, 
some of which had either themselves degenerated into mere 
predatory bauds, or had furnished cutthroats with a cloak 
under which to follow their trade. Among the writers who 
defended the orthodox faith against the attacks of the Wal- 
denses, the principal were the following : Egbert, the Abbot, 
brother of St. Elizabeth, abbess of Sconauge, wrote, at the 
close of the twelfth century, thirteen sermons against the 
■Carthari. At the same time, Eberhard ot^ethune wrote his 


A iiti- Heresy, and Bernard of Font- Cauld his treatise. In 
the next centur3% Ermengard wrote a book entitled, Against 
the Heretics who say and believe that this tvorld and all visible 
things icere not made by God, but by the devil. Keinerius 
Saccho wrote his book on Heretics in 1254. Peter Polichdorf 
wrote againts the Waldenses in 1444. (1). Claude Seyssel, 
archbishop of Turin in the sixteenth century, was the au- 
thor of a valuable book on this subject. 

Of modern authors who have treated the Waldensian 
heresy, the most satisfactory is Andrew Charvaz, bishop of 
Pinerolo in Piedmont. (2). Many Protestant authors, such 
as Leger (3), Munston (4), and Peyran (5), have endeavored 
to ascribe a very ancient origin to the Waldenses, thus 
hoping to connect their own sects with antiquity, for they 
claim that these heretics were the forerunners of the Eefor- 
mation, that they were, in fact, a species of Protestants. 
If protesting against the authority of the Catholic Church 
constitutes Protestantism, then the spiritual progeny of 
Luther, Calvin, Zwinglius, Cranmer, etc., may claim kinship 
with even those heresies of the early centuries the teach- 
ings of which they would hesitate to mention before their 
wives, mothers, and sisters. Scarcely had the clouds shut 
off the ascending Body of the Saviour from the view of His 
disciples, when heresy commenced to rend the seamless 
garment of Christ, and from then to the sixteenth century 
not a dogma or usage of the Church escaped attack from 
one or anotlier sect. One by one these sects had dissap- 
peared, when the Lutheran movement was initiated, and. 
little by little, its followers embraced nearly every error of 
the past; excluding, however, God be thanked, the more 
disgusting and lunatical ravings, a revival of which would 
have shocked the then cultivated world. But although 
each and every error in the conglomeration known us 
Protestantism had been taught at some time by some par- 
ticular heretic, it would be folly to ascribe to that heretic 

(1) These authors were edited by the Jesuit Gretser, and are all found In the Library of 
the Fathers. , „ ,^ ^ 

(2» IliKtorical Researches on the True Origin of the Waldenses and on the Character 
of their Primitivr Doctrines. Paris, 1836. 

(3) Hixtoru of the WahUmes. Leyden, KKiT. 

(4) Historji of the Wahknses of the Valleys of Piedmont. Paris, 1835. 
<5) Coimderfitions on the IVahlenses. 


i;he origin of a system which teaches many things that he 
believed, and rejects many things that he held. So with 
the Waldenses ; many of their errors had been promulgated 
before ; but their system, in its entirety, was a new one. 
So with the many sects called Protestant, which can trace 
their origin to the Reformers of the sixteenth century, or to 
some of their spiritual descendants. We have said that, 
one by one, the ancient heresies had disappeared, when the 
turbulent monk of Saxony disturbed the unity of Christen- 
dom. Some of the Waldenses. however, had taken refuae 
in the valleys of Piedmont, and the dukes of Savoy, by 
successive grants, allowed them the free exercise of their 
religion, on condition that they would remain within certain 
limits, namely, the four districts of Angrogna, Villaro, 
Bobbio, and Rorato ; and here the Reformation found them, 
mixed up with other heretics, who had been known, before 
the time of Peter Waldo, as Vaudois or Valdesi, from the 
valleys they inhabited. These Waldenses or Vaudois, for 
they had become amalgamated, exchanged their doctrines 
for Lutheranisra, at first, and then for the creed of Geneva. 
Other Waldenses, expelled from Germany, had found a 
home in Bohemia, " to which country all heretics were 
wont to fly," (1) and there the Reformation found them, 
with doctrines considerably different from those of their 
ancestors. (2). 

In order to show that the Waldenses had their origin in 
the twelfth century, Charvaz adduces the testimony of the 
following authors : Bernard, abbot of Font-Cauld, who 
lived in that century ; Alanus, abbot of Larivoir and 
bishop of Auxerre, called " the universal doctor," of 
the same period ; Eberhard of Bethune, and Peter of 

(1) History of Bohemia, hy Dubrav, Bishop of Olmiitz, B. 14. 

(2) In tbelr anxiety to effect a union with the Reformers, the Bohemian Waldenses 
re-arranged and mollified their system. In their Confession, offered to Ferdinand in 15.^5, 
we read in Art. XIII.. ••Concerning the Lord's Supper, it is to be believed and confessed 
that the Bread is thn true Body of Christ, which was eiven for us, and that the Chalice is 
His true Blood, which was shed for us in the remission of sin, as the Lord Christ plainly 
said : ' This is My Body, this is My Blood,' " etc. In their Profession sent to Vladislav, king 
of Hungary, they say : '• When a properly ordained priest utters the words of Christ, 
immediately the Bread is the Body of Christ, the natural Body, taken from the most chaste 
Virgin, which He was about to yield up." They denied, however, that the bread was 
changed into the Body of Chrisi mhMnntialhi ; it was, thev said, only changed efficaciously 
and potentially. Luther. Melanchthon. and Bucer approved of these documents ; but not so 
Calvin, who answered two Bohemian messengers, applying for recognition : " We remain 
of opinion that your Confession cannot be accepted without danger." See Melanchthon's 
Epistle to Benedict, and the other IValdemian Brethren in Bohemia, and Bucer's Book 
entitled, Two Writings againat the Robber, etc. 


Vaus-Cernay, also of the twelfth century ; Stephen of' 
Belleville, a Dominicai) and an Inquisitor of time ; the- 
Dominiean Moneta, who lived in the thirteenth centuiy ; 
Conrad, abbot of Ursperg, who wrote his book against the 
Waldenses in 1212 ; Ileinerius Saccho, a convert from the 
Waldensian heresy and an Inquisitor in 1250 ; Peter 
Polichdorf, also of the thirteenth century , and many oth- 
ers. All of these authors agree with Stephen of Belleville,, 
whose testimony Palma thus condenses. He testifies that 
the Waldenses received their name from one Waldo, and 
that afterward, on account of their profession of poverty, 
they were called the Poor Men of Lyons. Stephen says- 
that what he writes concerning these innovators he learned 
from a Bernard Ydras, a Lyonese priest, who had tran- 
scribed the first books of the Waldenses, written in the- 
Romance or French language. Waldo, a rich Lyonese- 
citizen, induced Ydras and another priest, named Stephen 
Ansa, to translate the Bible into the vernacular. He then 
sold all his goods and distributed the proceeds to the 
poor ; after which he commenced to preach, and gathering 
many followers, he commissioned them, women as well as 
men, to preach the Gospel. Pieproved by John, archbishop 
of Lyons, they would not listen to him ; then they were 
condemned by the Third Council of the Lateran, and, being 
contumacious, were declared schismatics. They then joined' 
the heretics of Provence and Lombardy, and were declared 
heretics. Moneta says of their origin : " If they say they 
are from a time anterior to Waldo, let them give proof oft 
their assertion; that they have never been able to do." 
And in their own petitions of the year 1573, 1585, and 1599, 
the Waldenses themselves say that their sect is only a few 
centuries old. Peyran endeavors to show that the Walden- 
ses were in existence before the time of Waldo, by the 
citation of a Trfcdifte on Antichrisf bearing the date of 1120, 
in which are given the causes leading to the Waldensian 
schism. He also quotes a vernacular codex of 1100, entitled 
Ln Nohhi Leizon, in which the term Waldensis is used to 
signify a good Christian. As to the first book, Munstom 
shows that there is no proof that it is genuine-; and Perrin, 


the author of a History of the Waldenses, ascribes it to Peter 
de Bruis, the father of the Petrobruisiaus. Charvaz proves 
that this Treatm' on Antichrist contains the errors, not of 
the pure Waldenses, but of the Cathari. But the antiquity 
of the work is at once exploded when we observe that it 
cites the book ^Idleloquium, ascribing it to St. Augustine, 
when it was written by Augustine Triumphus, who was 
born in 1243. As for Peyran's second authorit}^ the Nobia 
Leizon, experts testify, says Charvaz, that it belongs to the 
thirteenth century. Reinerius Sacchois adduced as admit- 
ting that the Waldenses come down from the days of Pope 
St. Sylvester I., if not from apostolic times. But Reinerius 
says no such thing. These are his words : " For firstly, 
they assert, the Roman Church is not the Church of Jesus 
Christ, but of the malignant ; the former having fallen 
away in the time of St, Sylvester, when the poison of tem- 
poral possessions was infused into the Church ; and they 
say that they are the Church of Christ, since they observe, 
in word and deed, the doctrine of Christ's Gospel and of 
the apostles." The same is said by Polichdorf, whose 
words Leger corrupts. Some Protestant authors have tried 
to trace the origin of the Waldenses to Claude of Turin, in 
the ninth centurv ; but we know that Claude admitted all 
the Sacraments, rejected the private interpretation of 
Scripture, and accepted the authority of Tradition ; that he 
had no other errors than those of Adoptionism. and of op- 
position to the invocation of saints. The Waldenses were 
sometimes called Leonists, and Leger asserts that they 
were named after a certain Leo, who resisted St. Sylvester's 
willingness to receive donations from Constantine. History 
makes no mention of this Leo ; and Leger stamps his own 
story as a fable, when he assigns the said Leo to the 
eighth century, while Sylvester lived in the fourth. Even 
Mosheim admits that the Waldenses originated with Peter 
Waldo, when he savs : " Those who assign to the Waldenses 
a different origin, and, in the first place, to tbo vallevs they 
inhabited, many centuries before the days of Peter Waldo, 
have no authority for their opinion, and are refuted by all 
historians." And speaking of the olden heretics of the 


Piedmontese valleys, he says : " These Vallenses are to be 
distinguished from the Waldenses, or followers of Peter 
Waldo, whom all writers derive from Lyons, and who re- 
ceived their name from that Peter." (1). 

The Yaudois of the thirteenth century, inhabiting the 
valleys of Piedmont, were a very different people from the 
Waldenses of France and other countries, and their doc- 
trines were very different from those of the Vaudois of our 
day. The old Yaudois regarded the Koman Church as the 
true Church of Christ, but deemed her corrupted and 
disfigured ; they admitted the seven Sacraments, held that 
the Church could legitimately possess temporal goods, and 
"would not separate from Kome, if they were allowed to 
retain their own belief. But the Waldenses called the 
Eoman Church the whore of Babylon. Some autliors have 
made the mistake of confounding the Waldenses with the 
Albigenses. These latter were true Manichaeans, which the 
pure Waldenses never were, although in time some of 
their offshoots, such as the Albaui and Cantorezene Cathari, 
became such. The Albigenses were known in France from 
1021, and in 1147, before Peter Waldo appeared, St. Bernard 
had tried to instruct and convert them. Again, the pure 
Waldenses and old Yaudois of Piedmont were remarkable 
ior simplicity and mildness ; but of the Albigenses, even in 
their infancy, Peter of Cluny wrote to the bishops of 
Embrun,Die, and Gap : '' They profane the churches, over- 
turn the altars, burn the crosses, scourge the priests, 
imprison the monks, and force them, by threats and tortures, 
to take women." (2). It is the fashion with Protestant 
writers to draw a beautiful picture of the simple Waldenses 
entering the hitherto uncultivated valleys which lie be- 
tween Provence and Dauphiny, and, with incredible fatigue 
and patience, redeeming the waste around them, and en- 
riching their lords with their labor. But even Hannibal 
found the valleys of the Alps, both on the Italian and French 
side, in a state of cultivation ; and the district has always 
been attractive for its isolation from the troubled life of 

(1) Cent, xn., p. 2. c. 5. 

<2) Flki-ry. n. 00. n. 21. 


the plains, and for its purity of air. When the snows have 
melted, the soil is excellent for farming. 

Pope Innocent III. has been reproached with having 
cruelly persecuted the Waldenses, in spite of their^ in- 
nocence and simple habits. But the Crusade directed by 
this Pontiif, in 1208, was against the Cotterels, Triaverdins, 
and other robbers and murderers whose hands were against 
every man, wretches similar to, if not worse than, the 
Ribalds of the thirteenth century, and the Cireumcelliones 
of the Don;itists. (1). The pure Waklenses and the Vaudois 
of Piecluiout were not persecuted, so long as they conducted 
themselves in a peacable manner. The following remarks 
of Bergier are worthy of the reader's attention : " If we 
reflect a little upon the conduct of these sectarians, we will 
see that they were constant in nothing, save in a gross and 
blind hatred of the Catholic clergy- ; tljis was the only 
fruit they gathered from the reading of that Scripture 
which they were incapable of understanding. Not at all 
scrupulous in matter of dogma, they chfnged their doc- 
trine when their interest seemed to demand a change, and 
they joined all the sects of the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries, without being at all embarrassed at a diflerence 
of faitli. Supple, timid, hypocritical, when they felt them- 
selves weak they covered themselves with a Catholic 
exterior ; contending that swearing, for justice's sake, was 
wrong, they nevertheless perjured themselves, to hide their 
belief ; condemning all war, they took up arms against 
their sovereign ; often they stained their hands with the 
blood of the missionaries sent to instruct them." (2). Here 
we may remark that the cynical and ostentatious affectation 
of poverty, on the part of the original Waldenses, was the 
occasion of the institution of one of the greatest glories 
of the Catholic Church, those Mendicant Orders, which 
have done so much to confirm the spirit of true religion 

(1) These sectarian furies of the fourth century pretended to revenge injuries done to 
society and individuals, and to establish equality among men, and were called by Donatus, 
oi'^H® ''''**^^^ "^ '*^® saints." Their horrible crimes are narrated by St. Augustine and St! 
Phila^ter. See Baroxio, y. .381. The name of {'ircuraoelliones was also given to certain 
German fanatics, who sustained the cause of Frederick n. after his excomniunication hv 
Innocent I\ ., an I who taught that the bishops and priests of the Roman Church had lost 
their sacerdotal character, because of their wickedness, and that all those who took up 
arms for lYdcrick would alone attain salvation. 

i-2l Dictionary, An. Vaudois. 


in Christian lands, and to evangelize Pagau countries. St^ 
Francis of Assisi, laying the first foundations of liis Cider- 
in 1209, wished to show the Waldenses that a humble, 
austere, and laborious life could be led within the bobom 
of the Church, and without any ribald declamations against, 
the clergy ; how well he succeeded, is a matter of history, 
and may be seen, to this day, in every part of the Christian,, 
and nearly every part of the Pagan world. 


The Pontificate of Innocent III. 

Like that of St. Gregory VII., the Pontificate of Innocent 
III. has been a target for the shafts of all those historians,, 
whether Galilean, courtier, Jansenist, parliamentarian, 
philosophical, or rationalistic, who have beclouded or belied 
the true character of the civilization of the Middle Ages. 
We shall have occasion to notice the varied judgments of 
these gentry, but the reader must first take a rapid view of 
the principal events of Innocent's reign. By the death of 
Frederick Barbarossa, and that of William II. of the Two 
Sicilies, (1190) Henry VI. became the most powerful prince 
in Europe. He had, it is true, great difficulty in securing 
the dominion of Southern Italy, for Tancred, a natural son 
of Roger II., was well able to protect his own claims : but 
on the death of this prince, Henry received the aid of 
Genoa and Pisa, and was thus enabled to master Sicilv, 
and to crush the barons of Calabria and the Puglia. The 
Sixth Henry was a man of beastly ferocity, and capable of 
the lowest kinds of perfidy. (1). His first victims were 
Sibilla. the widow of Tancred, and her young son William, 
wlio. having been induced by magnificent oflfors to capitu- 
late, were robbed of everything, personally insulted, and 
doomed to a long and harsh imprisonment. Nor did he 

(1) For instance, his treaclicious coniliict towanls nicliiinl the Lidn-Heart. For this 
«rime Henry was exroniiminicatcd t>y Tope Cclestine Ml., ami received as penance the 
task of an expedition to Palestine. Wlien alioiit to depart, lie died at Messina (lliiD, and 
by his will, restored the ransom he had extorted from Uichard. as well as the posses-sions- 
he and his predecessors had stolen from the RoiuauChurcli. Wii.i.iAM ok Nkwbcrg, B. v.. 
c. 20. 


keep faith with the Genoese and Pisans. to wliose help he 
principally owed the conquest of Sicily ; when their ambas- 
sadors demanded the fulfilment of his engagements, he 
replied with indecent jokes, and then scornfully showed 
thera the door. He did not gain the good will of his 
Sicilian subjects ; his insatiable avarice prompted him to 
invent conspiracies against his rule, that he might black- 
mail the wealthy barons, and many of these saw their 
patrimonies confiscated, and were themselves subjected to 
torture, and sent to the scaffold. Henry soon became an 
object of horror even to his own wife Constance. She was 
the daughter of Roger TI. of Sicily, and it was as her 
husband that Henry claimed the Two Sicilies ; she could 
not be other than indignant when she saw the most con- 
spicuous families oi her kingdom reduced to penury, and 
the treasures accumulated by her ancestors taken from their 
splendid palaces and packed ofi" to Germany. But Henry 
did not long enjoy the imperial crown, which he had received 
(as Henry V.) from Pope Celestine III. He died, apparent- 
ly repentant, in 1197, enjoining upon Constance, in his will, 
to beseech from the Holy See a confirmation of his son's 
rights to the Sicilies, and decreeing that, if that prince 
should die without heirs, those rights should accrue to the 
Eoraan Church. (1). Immediately after the death of her 
husband, Constance, anxious for her child's inheritance 
and knowing the horror of the Sicilians for the Germans, 
ordered the seneschal Markwald and all his countrymen to 
leave the island forever. She then sent three Neapolitan 
counts to bring the baby Frederick from Jesi (his birth- 
place), and in May, 1198, she had him crowned in the 
cathedral of Palermo as king of the Sicilies. She immedi- 
ately sought for him the protection of the Holy See, 
sending ambassadors to the new Pontiff, Innocent III., to 
receive from him, in the name of Frederick, the kingdom of 
Sicily, the duchy of tlie Pugl'a, and tlie principality of 
Capua, under the conditions heretofore subsisting between 
the Holy See and its Sicilian vassals. 

(1) GiANNONE ignores this will, but it is mentioned in the Gesta, c. 37. See Baronio, y. 
1197, no. 9. HURTKE, however, doubts its authenticity : History of Innocent III., B. i. It 
must he admitted that Innocent never invoked it, even when events seemed to demand 
8ucb action. 


.At this time Northern Italy was being lacerated by civil 
war. The Guelph cities raged against the Ghibelline, and 
the c'<)ujmune.s were ferocious in their determination to no 
longer submit to the tyranny of the feudal lords, wbo, by 
virtue of imperial concession, rendered citizen and peasant 
life a torment. Little by little, the castles were reduced 
or stormed, and their noble owners forced to lead the life 
of private, though titled, citizens. In all upper Italy, the 
only nobles who preserved their dominion were the count 
of Savoy and the marquises of Este and Monferrato. 
Venice had become very powerful, owing to the develop- 
ment of her commerce by the Crusades, and was the only 
really independent state in Ital}'. Genoa and Pisa were 
better disj^osed toward the emperor than toward the Pontiff- 
Among the cities of the Lombard League, there now pre- 
vailed a feeling of hostility, rather against the Hohenstaufen 
family, than against the empire itself. In France reigned 
Philip Augustus, in the fulness of strength, and devoted to 
the consolidation of the royal power. In England reigned 
the half-savage hero, the lion-hearted Richard, trampling 
upon the rights of all, and not sparing even the clergy who 
had given the precious ornaments of their churches to 
procure his ransom. The Scandinavian kingdoms were 
just commencing a civilized life ; Denmark alone, thanks to 
her strict relations with Rome, was j^retty well advanced in 
culture. In Eastern Europe, but lately converted from 
Paganism, Poland and Hungary were entering the European 
family of states, uhicli their heroism was one day to save 
from destruction. In the Orit'ut, the only pio-jierous state 
was Armenia. The Byzantine throne, occupied by Alexis 
III., existed only by the sufferance of the Bulgarians and 
the ]n'Pcarious good will of the Y;ir,in^ian guards. The 
kingdom of Jerusalem had become a little district of a few 
square miles around Acre. Such was the situation of 
Christendom when, on January 10, 1198, tiie Sacred College 
chose, as successor to Pope Celcstine III., the cardinal 
Lothaire Conti (1), of the counts of Segni. The first studies 

(1) Although not so noisy ns the Orslnl, ("olonnn. Frnnpiimni. and some other houses, the 
Conti were one of the oldi'st iiml inosi ilistlnpiiishcil riiiiiilles of Home. They became 
extinct In If-OS, wjtli ihc duke Michel AiiKelo. The lust carrtliml of the family was Inno- 
cent, secretary of Uriefs to This VI. 


of the young Lotliaire were made in the schools of St. John 
Lateran ; his theological course at Paris ; he finally made 
one of the ten thousand students of law at Bologna. Ee- 
turning to Rome, in his twenty-first year, he received minor 
orders, and soon afterward, the diaconate. When thirty 
years of age, he was made a cardinal-deacon by Pope Clem- 
ent III., (1190). As cardinal he was simple in his habits, 
severe in his morals, a rigid censor of luxury, and absolutely 
free from cupidity ; some of his best works were composed 
while he wore the purple. When the cardinals met to choose 
a successor to Celestine III., they had many things to con- 
sider. " The power of the Hohenstaufen," says Hurter (1), 
" menaced the Church more than it had under Frederick ; 

in Italy it had developed more than ever The Pope, 

surrounded by the domains of this house, or by provinces 
held by the Germans to strengthen their pretensions upon 
those territories, would have been exposed, as indeed the 
last emperor had designed, to become a mere patriarch of 
the house of Hohenstaufen, and Christendom might have 
beheld him subject to the conqueror, as had happened at 
Constantinople. On account of the situation of Sicily, the 
complete separation of those provinces from the Holy See, 
or the preservation of the right of suzerainty over them, 
would depend as much on the energy of the new Pope, as 
upon the sort of relations he would establish with the 
empire. The Crusades had to be encouraged, to be pre- 
pared by a more solid union of the Western peoples, and 
by a firmer and more sustained direction of those who 
assumed the Cross. In every kingdom, many ecclesiastical 
interests were to be regulated, to be redressed, to be set 
aright." The cardinals thought of all these things, and the 
very first day uf the Conclave their unanimous choice was 
the cardinal Lothaire, though he was ordy thirty-seven 
years of age. At first Lothaire resisted, but the dean of 
the cardinal-deacons, Gratian, approached and saluted him 
as Pope Innocent III. (2). 

(1) Hiittini iif Pope Innocent III., B. i. This work, written while Kurtcr was a Prot- 
estant minister, cannot be too highly praised, especially as an accurate and appreciative 
picture of the lime. , , , . 

(2) At that time, the name of the new Pontiff was given to hira. not chosen bv himself. 
lioman Ordo. 


We shall now give a short sketch of Innocent's relations 
with Rome ; with the empire and Sicily ; witli Philij) 
Augustus of France, in reference to his divorce from In- 
gelburga ; and with king John of England, in the case of 
the rights of the see of Canterbury. First, then, we 
draw the reader's attention to the actions of Innocent in the 
States of the Church. The new Pontiff found the greater 
portion of the patrimony of St. Peter in the hands of the 
foreigner ; only in the Campagna was his temporal au- 
thorit}' recognized, and even there the late emperor had 
seized many fiefs. The soldiers of Henry made excursions 
Tip to the very gates of Home. This emperor had not re- 
stored the territories of Matilda ; the seneschal Markwald 
ruled at Bavenna, in the March, and in Romagna : one 
Conrad of Lutzenhard called himself duke of Spoleto ;ind 
ruled that duchy and Assisi ; most of the Exarchate was 
divided among German barons, and some districts were 
independent ; the Sabine provinces were held by Benedict 
Carissimi. The Bomans had re-established the senate under 
Lucius III., and, seduced by Arnold of Brescia, had offered 
the emperor the sovereignty of the city ; the people yearned 
for independence ; the nobles favored the emperor, and the 
prefect of the city received his investiture from that mon- 
arch. The day after his coronation, Innocent summoned 
the prefect and made him swear " to neither sell nor 
pledge, nor give in fief, any domains confided tf) him ; to 
exact, and care for, all the taxes due to the Boman Church ; 
to faithfully guard all fortresses, and to build no now ones 
without the Pope's permission ; to be ever ready to give an 
account of his stewardship, and to lay down his dignity 
when ordered." Then the Pontiff gave him, instead of the 
sword which the emperor used to send him, a mantle, as a 
sign of investiture. Having thus abolished tlie last trace 
of imperial suzerainty in Bome, Innocent ordered that the 
senator, who had replaced, in 1197, the senatorial body, 
should hereafter exercise his functions only in the name of 
the Pope ; he was to be changed every year. Many of the 
barons now came from the surrounding country to take the 
oath of vassalage, and the Pontiff sent all the cardinals then. 


in Rome to the principal provinces, i;o receive the oath 
from the legitimate feudatories and the free communes, and 
t(^ expel the foreign adventurers. This last task was gladly 
undertaken by the people, overjoyed at the assurance of 
Innocent that they would not again be separated from the 
Holy See. The Pope now turned his attention to the 
German usurper of Ravenna and the Marches. Markwald 
procrastinated, promised, and retracted ; finally, when many 
of the cities had sworn fidelity to Innocent, he issued from 
Ravenna, and, in the very presence of the cardinal-legates 
sent to him, burned the towns, ransacked the churches, and 
murdered right and left. Innocent then excommunicated 
him ; the peoples and barons hastily formed an army and 
drove the miscreant to the frontier, whence he proceeded 
to Sicily. The Pope was at first disposed to accept the 
offer of Conrad of Lutzenhard, who promised to do homage 
for Spoleto and Assisi, to pay a large tribute, and to furnish 
at least 1000 men to the Papal army ; but perforce 
he heeded the loud curses of his people against the de- 
tested stranger, whose name was synonymous with cruelty 
and rapine, and Conrad yielded his possessions. Perugia, 
Todi, and Rieti gained many privileges ; in fine, says 
Hurter, " other cities preserved their ancient privileges and 
a constitution more free than that given by political insti- 
tutions born on the barren soil of abstract doctrines 

Then, without any pretension on the part of (the central) 
authority to arrange everything and to extinguish every 
sentiment of life, the cities could make war, form alliances, 
regulate commerce, determine their own relations according 
to their customs and rights, and even their suzerain re- 
garded these customs and rights as inviolable." In June of 
his first year. Innocent made a triumphal progress through 
the duchy of Spoleto and the contiguous regions, and 
allowed all the cities to join the Tuscan League against the 
Germans. (1). About this time, the Lombard League, re- 

(1) Proflring by the example of the Lombard League, most of the Tuscan cities, then 
governed by the duke Philip, lnother of Henry VL, res'^lverl to do what they could to re- 
alize the will of the countess Matilda. By the advice of their bishops they confederated, 
with the object of maintaining their municipal liberties, of amicably arranging any 
differences among them-selves, of defending the Holy See, and of not submitting to any 
temporal sovereign not recommended by the Pope. The League was composed of elected 
ieputies, who themselves chose a president. Innocent tried hard to make Pisa, a city ot 


newed for thirty years, received strength by the accession 
of the powerful marquis of Monferrato, hitherto an im- 
perialist • and in a vear from TnTif)CP,nt's accession. Northern 
and Central Italy, thanks to his activity and the co-operation 
of the people, were freed from the imperial preponderance. 
The emperor Otho IV. for a time occupied the greater 
portion of the Papal States, but when he was forced to re- 
cross the Alps the entire patrimony again recognized the 
sovereignty of the Pontiff. 

As we enter upon the narrative of Pope Innocent's rela- 
tion with the empire, we must observe that at the time of 
his accession Europe was agitated by the question whether 
the imperial crown was to be hereafter conferred, as, in 
theory at least, it had hitherto been conferred, upon the 
most wise, pious, and worthy prince of Christendom, or 
whether it should become an heirloom of a single family. 
For the latter idea contended the Hohenstaufen, who had 
mounted to the imperial dignity in the person of Barbarossa, 
and who had so consolidated their power, that, had it not 
been for the energetic interference of the Popes, they would 
have secured the prize. For the preservation of the elec- 
toral privileges, many of the German princes, under the 
guidance of bishop Adolph of Cologne, strenuously fought ; 
and when Philip of Suabia endeavored to secure the crown 
for the young Frederick, the baby child of Henry YI. and 
Constance of Sicily, they successively pushed the cause of 
Eichard of England and Barthold f)f Zohringen. The 
friends of the Hohenstaufen finally persuaded Philip to 
relinquish the idea of seating his nephew Frederick on the 
imperial throne, and to present himself for election, and 
tliey indeed elected him on March 6th, 1198 But Adol))h 
of Cologne and his party were determined tliat tlie empire 
should not become an appanage of the Hohenstaufen, or 
of ;iny single family, and they turned their eyes to Otho, 
the second son of Henry tlie Lion of Saxony. In the 
month of May this prince was elected emperor in the 
cathedral of Cologne. His chief partisans were the bish- 

merchant-pi inccs, and <?really favored bv the Hohenstaufen. joiu this confederation, and 
even chart't'd his Icpiitt' not to launch liio Interdict he lia«1 prepared. If Qifi Plsans would 
ally with their countrymen. Sihmomu, Itnlian liiiiulilitK, 11.. .313. 


ops of Cologne, Munster, Treves, Paderborn, Minden, 
Cambrai, Utrecht, and Strasbourg; all the princes of the 
Low Countries, and the powerful landgrave Hermann of 
Thuringia, whose son Louis afterwards married ' the dear 
St. Elizabeth " of Hungary. But Philip had in his favor 
the majority of the princes, and the richest of the German 
countries ; a preponderance of military strength, and an 
abundance of treasure stolen from Sicily ; the possession 
of nearly all the fortresses of the empire, and all the jewels 
and insignia of the imperial dignity. In the war which 
now ensued, one of the first endeavors of Otho was to get 
possession of the coronation-place, Aix-la-Chapelle, that he 
might there receive the royal crown of Germany, after 
which he would be free to apply to the Pope for the impe- 
rial diadem. After a three weeks' siege, and several assaults, 
the city surrendered, and the archbishop of Cologne crowned 
Otho as king of Germany, that prince crying out : " Philip 
has the insignia, but I have the rights of the empire." 
Pope Innocent was filled with consternation on account of 
this German imbroglio : it greatly jeopardized the Crusade ; 
for a great many nobles had already summoned their vas- 
sals from Palestine to plunge into the struggle for the 
empire. But he was resolved to allow the Germans to elect 
their own king without interference ; he would afterwards 
attend to the imperial crown. As Philip was crowned in 
Mayence, the parties seemed to stand on equal terms ; but 
in 1199 the cause of Otho received a severe blow by the 
death of Richard of England, whose money had greatly 
contributed to the support of the Othonian army ; a great 
many princes and nobles passed over to Philip, and Otlio 
began to feel that he must look to the Pope for assistance. 
He had already applied to Innocent for recognition, where- 
as his rival had taken no such steps. Philip at length 
wrote to Innocent, and his letter was followed by one from 
Philip Augustus, naturally anxious for his success, simply 
because Otho was nephew and ally to the king of England. 
Innocent then sent legates to Germany, to try to induce one 
or the other of the claimants to abdicate ; their eififorts 
failed, and the war contimiied with alternate success and de- 

:328 STUDIES in church history. 

feut f.)r each party. Finally, toward the end of the year 
1200, the Pontiif named as legate in Germany the cardinal 
Guido, l)ishop of Palestrina, a prelate remarl<able for firm- 
ness and disinterestedness, and instructed him to puhlisli 
the Papal recognition of Otho as king of Germany. From 
ihe Bull given to Guido for use in Germany, we take the 
following passages, as illustrative of the motives which 
.actuated the Pontiff: " It is the duty of the Holy See to 
proceed with prudence and discretion in its care of the 
JRomau Empire, for to it pertains the right of examining 
the election in the first and last instance. In the first, 
because by it and because of it the empire was transferred 
from the Greeks to the Germans ; by it, as the author of 
that transaction, and because of it, that it might receive 
more efficacious protection. In the second instance, because 
irom the Pope the emperor receives the imposition of 
hands for his elevation ; he is anointed, crowned, and iii- 
•vested with the imperial dignity by the Pope. As recently 
iliere have been chosen three kings, Frederick of Sicily, 
Philip, and Otho, in each election three things must be 
particularly examined : what is allowable, what can be 
granted, and what is proper. At a first glance, the election 
of the child prince might seem above all attack, but yet 

there are objections to it Apparently there ought to 

be no objection against the election of Philip Never- 
theless, we ought to oppose him. Our predecessor solemnly 
excommunicated him, and with reason. He had violently 

occupied and ravaged the patrimony of St. Peter 

Philip is a persecutor, a descendant of persecutors ; and if 
we do not oppose him, we will arm a madman against our- 
selves." Here the Pontiff details the crimes of the Hohen- 
staufeu against the Holy See, and continues : '• Phili]) 
commenced by persecuting the Church, and he still persists 
in that course. He calls himself duke of Tuscany and of 
the Campagna, and raises pretensions to territories close to 
the very gates of our capital ; he endeavors to steal our 

kingdom of Sicily Let us now speak of Otho. He 

will make a better emperor than Philip ; the Lord punishes 
the crime of parents even to the third and fourtli genera- 


-fcion, and Philip marches in the footsteps of his ancestors. 
.... Consequently, we publicly declare for Otho, who, 
himself devoted to the Church, descends from families 
equally true to her." 

On June 8th, 1201, while at Nyon, Otho took an oath to 
respect the rights of the Holy See and of the Lombard and 
Tuscan Leagues, promising to repeat the same oath when 
called to Kome for the crown. Until the year 1208, Inno- 
cent exerted all his influence in favor of Otho, but that 
prince did not display the energy that his cause demanded, 
and finally the Pontiff concluded that his duty to Christen- 
'dom called upon him to sacrifice his aversion to the Hoh- 
-enstaufen for the sake of peace. The recognition of Philip 
was about to be completed when suddenly that prince was 
assassinated by Otho of Wittelsbach. King Otho IV. was 
now recognized by all Germany, and, in order to conciliate 
the friends of the house of Suabia, he was betrothed to 
Beatrice, a daughter of Philip. In October, he went to 
Eome to receive the imperial crown. The ceremony was 
performed with the usual solemnity ; but immediately after- 
ward the Komans and the German soldiers were in battle. 
Otho lost many of his most distinguished ofiicers and court- 
iers, and. according to himself (1), 1100 of his horses were 
killed in the fight, and he lost a great deal of other valuable 
property. When the Pontiff refused to indemnify him for 
these losses, he grew furious, and left the city. From this 
moment, Otho refused to fulfil his engagements with the 
Pontiff; he refused to yield up the territories of Matilda, 
and while passing through Spoleto, he gave it a duke in the 
person of one of his courtiers, named Berthold : in the year 
1210, he gave the investiture of the March of Ancona to 
Azzo d'Este, and occupied Orvieto and Perugia ; he tried 
to take Viterbo, but the inhabitants successfully resisted, 
while the emperor ravaged the surrounding country. He 
so guarded the roads that the outside world could not com- 
municate with the Pontiff. Otho soon turned his attention 
to Southern Italy, and, with the assistance of a Pisan fleet, 
■was able to conquer nearly all the continental domains of 

C) Mrr.ATORi, Antuiuities, IV., 98,^ 


the young Frederick. On her deathbed, Coustaiiee, the 
widow of Heurj VI., had confided the guardianship of her 
infant son to the Holy See, and Poj^e Innocent had been 
an active and faitliful protector since his accession. Fred- 
erick now governed by himself, though but sixteen years of 
age, and his inexperience and frequent imprudences caused 
Innocent much anxiety. In 1211, the Pontiff excommuni- 
cated Otho, " because he has degenerated from the senti- 
ments of his ancestors ; because he has violated his oaths ; 
because he has taken territories of the Holy See ; because 
he makes war on Frederick of Sicily." Innocent then de- 
manded aid from Philip Augustus, and it was cheerfully 
promised. War again broke out in Germany ; the landgrave 
of Thuringia, the king of Bohemia, and a great many 
bishops abandoned Otho and chose Frederick of Sicily as 
king of Germany When the Pontiff was informed of this 
act, he might well hesitate as to his course. He knew that, 
on his father's side, Frederick w^as a Hohenstaufen ; but, on 
the other hand, he might hope that the young king w^ould 
prove grateful to the Pontiff, who had preserved his mater- 
nal inheritance ; and tljerefore he finally gave liis consent. 
Otho now returned to Germany, laden with Italian spoil, 
but only to meet a cool reception. Innocent summoned to 
his assistance the marquis of Este, wdio obeyed at once, 
and reduced all the Tuscan territory conquered by Otho. 
In April, 1212, Frederick arrived m Rome, and among other 
promises upon wliich Innocent insisted was one declaring 
that Sicily should not be united with Germany ; that Fred- 
erick's possessions in South Italy should all be ceded to 
the son to wliora his wife, Constance of Aragon, had given 
birtli. Wlien Frederick departed for Germany, the Pope 
furnished him with money for his journey. Otho managed 
to keep his hold upon the greater part of Germany until 
the great battle of Bouvines, gained on July 27, 1214, by 
Pliilip Augustus, over the united forces of Germany and 
England, shattered his prospects. From that day. if we 
except a short campaign against Waldemar of Bremen, 
Otho remained in his hereditary states until May 18, 1218, 
the day of his death. Frederick II. soon showed that he 


was a Holienstaufeii, manifesting the utmost ingratitude to 
the Holy See, and fiually incurring the usual fate of his 
family, excommunication. We shall treat of his career in 
Bj special chapter. 

In the struggle to which we now draw the reader's atten- 
tion, the question was whether the royal mantle so covered 
all sin, as to render the wearer exempt from obedience to 
the laws of God and of His Church. The first wife of 
Philip Augustus, Isabelle of Hainaut, haddiedin 1190, when 
he was twenty-three years of age ; and in 1193 he sent an 
embassy to Canute VI., king of Denmark, to ask for the 
hand of that monarch's second sister, Ingelburga, then a 
beautiful girl of seventeen ; the offer was accepted, ajid in 
a few months the princess landed in France ; Philip con- 
ducted her to Amiens, and the marriage took place. On 
the day after the marriage, in the presence of all the eccle- 
siastical and secular lords of the kingdom, Ingelburga was 
crowned by Philip's uncle, the archbishop of Eheims ; but 
it was observed, during the ceremony, that the king ap- 
peared terribly nervous ; he could not look at the queen, 
and trembled and remained pallid until the close of the 
service. (1). He had alread}' resolved to repudiate his 
young wife, as the world soon learned. In November, an 
assembly of bishops, most of them relatives of Philip, was 
convoked at Compiegne, to consider the validity of the mar- 
riage. A genealogical table, proving the consanguinity of 
Ingelburga with Isabella of Hainaut, the king's first wife, 
was brought forward, and the archbishop of Rheims pro- 
nounced the marriage null and void. The unfortunate 
queen was informed of the decision by an interpreter, for 
she knew no French. Bursting into tears, she cried, 
" France, wicked ! wicked ! Rome, Rome !" thus expressing 
her appeal to the only impartial judge on earth for those 
who wear a crown. As she refused to return to Denmark, 
a conventual residence at Beaurepaire was assigned to her. 
So little care did the king take of her support that, rather 
than be beholden to the charity of the nuns for her board, 
she sold, not only her jew^els, but her very clothing, to 

(i) William op Newburg, iv., 24; Deeds, c. 48. 


(lefruj lier ex]3eiises. Ingelburga fomul means to appeal to« 
Pope Celestine III., who declared the pretended divorce to- 
be of no value. Nevertheless, Philip locked around for 
another wife, and after experiencing manj- rebuffs from 
royal ladies, who refused to confide in his honor, he married, 
in June. 1196, Agnes, daughter of BerthoUl, duke of Mer- 
anie, by Agnes, niece of the marquis Didier of Misnia, a 
descendant of Charlemagne. The king of Denmark liad 
already complained to Eorae, and when he heard of tlie 
marriage with Agnes, he called upon the Pontiff to excom- 
municate the royal concubinar3^ As soon as Innocent as- 
cended the Papal throne, he wrote to the bishop of Paris 
to the effect that if Pliilip would put away Agnes, the Holy 
See would listen to the arguments which might be adduced 
against the marriage with Ingelburga, but not until that 
was done. ' Think of the anger of God," he wrote to 
Philip, " listen not to evil advice, respect my paternal 
good-will, and do not injure your own reputation or mine." 
In October of 1199, Innocent wrote to all the French 
clergy: ''From the commencement of our reign, we have 
vainly sought to convince the king by kindness, and to in- 
fluence him to a reconciliation with his wife. Why does 
the king not prefer what is just and honorable ? Why does 
he endanger his soul ? Why does he give such scandal 
from his exalted station ? Nevertheless, we do not yet de- 
spair of his salvation, nor shall Ave abandon what we have 
begun ; our legate shall once more warn him, and if our 
counsel is unheeded, the interdict shall be proclaimed." 

The terrors of an interdict on his kingdom did not weigh 
with Philip against the charms of Agnes, and the precise 
orders from Rome admitted of no delay. Hence the Papal 
legate convoked a Council at Dijon on the feast of St. 
Nicholas. Tlie king sent two deputies to inform the prel- 
ates that he appealed from the sentence l)eforehand. and 
had already dispatched an embassy to Rome. Innocent 
had foreseen this, and knowing that notliing but delay 
could be gained by granting a hearing of such appeal, had 
given the legate formal powers to ignore it. After seven- 
days of consultation, "the mournful tolling of the bells- 


announced, at midnight, a dying agony. The bishops and 
priests betook themselves, by torchlight and in silence, to 
the cathedral. For the last time ihe canons prayed to the 
Father of mercy, chanting : ' Lord God, have pity on u>.' 
A veil covered the image <:»f the Crucified ; the relics of the 
saints were removed to the subterranean tombs ; the re- 
maining particles of the Eucharist were consumed. Then 
the legate, vested with a violet stole, as on the day of the 
Passion, presented himself to the people, and, in the name 
of Jesus Christ, pronounced an interdict on all the domin- 
ions gf the king of France, so long as he maintained his 
adulterous intercourse with Agnes de Meranie. Moans 
and sobs echoed through the porticoes of the church ; it 
seemed that the Judgment-Day had arrived ; the faithful 
would now be obliged to appear before God without the 
consolation of the Church's prayers." (1). The misery of 
his subjects, the utter absence of anything like amusement 
on the part of an amusement-loving people, soon had a 
great effect upon trade, and therefore upon the revenues of 
the king. In his anger, Philip not only seized the benefices 
of t!.e clergy, and expelled the bishops, but he attacked the 
possessions of the nobles, and farmed out the taxes to 
Jewish collectors. The people murmured, many of the 
barons flew to arms, the king's houseliold servants fled his 
presence as that of one accursed by God. Fear that the 
Pontiff would now launch an excommunication, caused 
Philip to send an embassy to Kome, signifying that he was 
ready to appear before any judges the Pope would appoint, 
and to submit to their sentence. " To what sentence ? " 
replied Innocent, " to the one pronounced, or to the one to 
be given ? The king knows the first ; let him put away his 
concubine, restore the queen, re-establish the expelled 
prelates, and indemnify them ; then the interdict shall be 
removed." When Philip heard of this answer, he cried,, 
" I'll become an infidel ! Oh ! but Saladin was happy, 
having no Pope ! " The wretched monarch then turned to 
his uncle, the archbishop of Rheims, and asked him if the 
Pope had really written that the decree of divorce, pro- 

(I HUKTKU. 15. iV. 


nouuced by that prelate, was a mere farce. When the 
archbishop admitted that the Pontiff had said so, Phili[) 
said : " Then you were a madman and a sot, to pronounce 
such a decree." The king now sent another embassy, and 
tried the effect of a woman's tears upon the Pope. In a 
letter to Innocent, Agnes spoke j)athetically of her youth 
and inexperience, of her children, and of her great love for 
Philip : " The splendor of a crown does not attract me, 
but my heart is devoted to the king." But Innocent was 
inflexible. "It was a similar firmness," says Hurter, 
" which preserved the influence of Christianity in the West, 
which founded the rule of Rome over the world, and raised 
the Apostolic See, by the sole power of a superior idea, 
above the thrones of kings. Even to-day, it is ordinarily 
owing to the vigilance and severity of the Supreme Pontiffs, 
to their constant care of the unity of the Church, that 
Christianity has the happiness of not being pushed, like a 
mere sect, into a corner of the globe •, of not being petrified, 
like the religion of the Hindoos, in vain formalities ; and 
of not having allowed European energy to be paralyzed by 
oriental voluptuousness." 

At length Philip yielded, and the cardinal Octavian, un- 
cle of Innocent, was sent to receive his submission. On the 
eve of the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, Philip, 
accompanied by the legates, visited Ingelburga, who had 
been brought to the royal chateau of St. Leger. As they 
met, the king cried : " The Pope does me violence ! " The 
queen replied : " He only wishes the triumph of justice. " 
The cardinals then ordered three bishops to conduct Ingel- 
burga, with royal honors, to the public assembly, and lieie 
Philip swore to acknowledge her as wife, and as queen of 
France. Then, to the inexpressible joy of the people, the 
interdict, which had lasted seven months, was raised. But 
Philip would not live with Ingelburga as his wife, still per- 
sisting that they were too closely related by blood. (1) At 
the beginning of March of the following year, 1201, an im- 
mense multitude assembled at Soissons, for the inquiry into 
the validity of the king's marriage. The discussion lasted 

(1) She was sent to the stronjt fortress of Etanipes as a residence, but the legates told Id- 
■nouent that she received all due honor. This was true onlv for a tiiiu'- 


fifteen days, and the cardinal-legate was about to pronounce 
the decision, when Pliilip, foreseeing its nature, astonished 
the assembly by sending word that '' he was about to 
recognize Ingelburga as his wife, and would never again be 
separated from her. " He had already called at the abbey 
<jf Notre Dame, the residence of the queen, and having 
helped her to mount behind him, had ridden away. The 
•Council dissolved, and Philip gained his object, a putting 
off of the evil day when he would be obliged to dismiss his 
beloved Agnes. Ingelburga was immediately sent to an 
■old ch.itoau, and things remained as before. But shortly 
.after tlie above event Agues de Meranie died, and the dis- 
consolate Pliilip wrote to Pope Innocent, begging him to 
legitimate her two children, Philip and Mary, as his succes- 
sion now depended on only one son, the child of Isabella 
of Hainaut. In replying to this request, Innocent had 
several things to consider. The reason alleged by Philip 
was a good one ; the young son of Isabella might die, and 
the kingdom be disturbed by civil war. Again, a Synod of 
French bishops had, though illegally, really pronounced a 
■divorce from Ingelburga, and Agnes was probably impelled 
thereby to yield to Philip. Finally, it was well to show 
that the Pontifical zeal was not directed against mere 
persons, and that death covers much. Hence Innocent 
legitimated the little Philip and Mary, and declared the 
former capable of holding his place in the line of succes- 
sion. This considerate action of the Pontiff had no effect 
upon Philip, in reference to his treatment of his unfortunate 
wife ; kept in strict seclusion, she was allowed to receive 
no news from home, and to write no letters to any one ; 
she was never allowed to confess, was seldom permitted to 
hear mass, and no ecclesiastic was admitted to her presence; 
scarcely enough food was given her to sustain life ; she 
could never consult a physician, and was never allowed a 
bath or any means of taking proper care of her person. 
In this extremity she found means, on several occasions 
-during the next six years, to appeal for redress to the 
Father of the Faithful, but all the efforts of the Pontiff 
proved impotent to ameliorate her condition. In 1207, 


Philip liaving alle^jed sorcery as a reason for his aversioo 
to Ingelburga, the Pope wrote : " Although as yet you have 
not hearkened to our representations, the force of our love 
is so great that we cannot avoid renewing them. Even 
though the reason you allege for the non-fulfilraent of your 
conjugal duty were believed by men, who do not penetrate 
hidden motives, yet we see no excuse for your depriving 
your wife of royal honors. You ought, if it is possible, 
give her conjugal love, in order that the holy spirit of 
chastity may not depart from you ; but in case you cannot, 
you must nevertheless consider the disgrace you heap upon 
yourself by so unworthily treating the daughter, sister, 
niece, and wife of a king. To gain a victory over one's self 
is more glorious than to gain one over a large number 
of enemies." During all these years of difference with 
the Pontiff on the subject of his reconciliation with Ingel- 
burga, Philip remained in accord Avith the Holy See on al! 
other matters. Finally, in 1213, when he was about to 
depart for the war against England and Flanders, Philip 
surprised the Pontiff and the world by taking Ingelburga 
from her prison at Etampes, and establishing conjugal 
relations withher. Twenty years had elapsed since the 
marriage and separation. Until the death of Philip, in 
1223, the union was not troubled in the least. (1) 

We shall now consider the strucrcile for the freedom and 
righra of the Churcli in England, which Pope Innocent 
III. was compelled to make against the pretensions of king 
John. Among the Church immunities which every English 
monarch, at his coronation, swore to respect, was the right 
of the cathedral chapters to elect their own bishops. The 
kings, as a rule, respected the form of this claim, but not 
the s])irit ; they generally insisted upon the chapter's 
obtaining the royal license for an election, and then, after 
the election, upon their own right to a]iprove of the choice. 
So far the practice of the English kings was about the 
same as that of the continental sovereigns ; but in England 
a system had obtained which was peculiar to itself. Most 

(1) Inpplliiirt'ii siirvivcii Pliilip fourteen vpars and her tioriy was interrefl In a rlmreli at 
Corheil, routideil and endnwed by lier with henellees for thirteen eeclesiHstics. on condition 
tti;it three masses shoiilil Ik- rliiily olTered for the souls of the roynl couple. The conditiou 
was fidtllled uiuil ihe Hevoluiiou, wlien tlie churi'li wa.s turned Into a powder-magazine. 


of the cathedrals were outgrowths of monasteries, and 
were yet served by monks, who exercised capitular rights ; 
"a singular and incongruous institution," says Lingard, 
" since it referred the choice of the bishops to men who, 
by their utter seclusion from the world, were the least cal- 
culated to appreciate the merits of the candidates." The 
objections to this system were most manifest in the great 
see of Canterbury. The bishops claimed a concurrent 
right in the election to the primatial chair, but the monks 
fought hard for "their privileges." When, in June of 
1205, archbishop Hubert died, the Canterbury monks as- 
sembled one night, and without any concurrence of the 
bishops, they chose their sub-prior Eeginalcl as archbishop, 
and sent him at once to Kome to get the first word with 
the Pontiff. A deputation was sent by the bishops to pro- 
test against this election. Then the king, wishing to 
elevate John De Gray, bishop of Norwich, to the primacy, 
induced the bishops to resign their rights, for the nonce, 
in the -premises, and proceeded to the monastery, where he 
ask-sd the brotherhood to elect his nominee, De Gray. 
This was done, and a deputation went to Kome to inform 
the Pontiff'. Innocent decided favorably to the claim of the 
monks, on account of its antiquity ; he pronounced both 
elections, however, invalid : that of Pieginald, as made 
clandestinely, and that of De Gray, as made before the 
previous one had been declared null. Making the Pope un- 
derstand that he wanted De Gray, king John asked him to^ 
appoint some one to the vacant primacy. Innocent imme- 
diately thought of Stephen Langton, a learned Englishman, 
tvho had been rector of the ujiiversity of Paris, and whom 
he had called to Rome and made a cardinal-priest. The 
Pontiff recommended Langton to the Canterbury monks, 
then in Rome, and as they were specially empowered to act 
in the name of their whole fraternity, they proceeded to^ 
the election, and chose the cardinal as their archbishop. 
But though John knew and esteemed Langton, he was de- 
termined to make De Gray primate, and the messengers of 
the Pontiff, announcing the election, were thrown into 
prison. Pope Innocent then consecrated Langton at Vi- 


terbo ; wliereupon John drove the Canterbury monks out of 
the kingdom. He also swore that Langton should never 
set foot in England, and sent the following letter to the 
Pope : " The archbishop-elect has sojourned among mj 
enemies ; his election attacks and violates the rights of mj 
crown. I cannot understand how the Pope and his ad- 
mirers have not calculated the great value of the friendship 
of the king of England to the Apostolic See, seeing that 
this kingdom gives that See more revenue than it receives 
from all the countries be^^ond the Alps. But I know how 
to defend my rights, and I shall cease, in no case, to sustain 
the election of the bishop of Norwich. If the Apostolic 
See williiot heed these considerations, it will be enough for 
me to prohibit all journeys to Rome, and to retain in my 
countr}' the money I need for operations against my 
enemies." Such language, to a Pontiff like Innocent III., 
was mere wind. His answer is worth}^ of the reader's at- 
tention : "We have written to you humbh', amicably, and 
benevolently, exhorting and beseeching you ; you have 
answered with menaces, insults, and arrogance. We have 
addressed you with excessive courtesy, and you have ob- 
served no conventionalities. In similar circumstances, no 
prince has ever received from us such honor ; you have 
trampled on the honor of the Pope as no prince has ever 
done. The great distinction acquired at Paris by the arch- 
bishop-elect ought to conciliate your favor, to excite your 
joy on the promotion of this prelate to so great a dignity. 
You should have reflecte 1 that Langton is an Englishman, 
that his parents were faithful subjects, that he has a bene- 
fice in York. But the envoys let us see that you are 
opposed to him because your approval was not requested, 
and they asked us to accord this honor to you, by an order 
to the Canterbury monks to ask your consent. We granted 
their prayer, and although it is not customary to ask the 
ro^'al assent to any choice made by the Apostolic See, we 
sent you two monks, and followed them with our own 
courier, charged with the same missiun. After the.'^e efforts, 
it was not necessary to again ask the assent of the king ; 
but, regarding the ancient institutions of the Church, we 


took care that the flock should not be long without a shep- 
herd. We hope, then, that you will not be turned from the 
right path by evil advisers, but that you will follow our 
well-meant counsel. You will thus consult your own 
honor and glory. Your own father and brother swore to 
the Apostolic legates that they renounced that fatal 
' custom ' of which St. Thomas was the victim." 

This and other remonstrances producing no good effect. 
Pope Innocent resolved, in 1208, to lay the kingdom under 
an interdict, and so severe did he deem it necessary to be, 
that he made no exception, as was usually made, for the 
Templars, Hospitalers, and some other congregations. The 
bishops of London. Ely, and Worcester, to whom the exe- 
cution of the interdict had been intrusted, presented them- 
selves before the king, and with tears begged him to yield. 
John replied : '■ If you proclaim the interdict, by the teeth 
of God, I shall pack off all the bishops and priests to the 
Pope, and take their property. Then all the Eomans now 
in my dominions shall return to their country with their 
eyes plucked out and their noses cut off, so that the whole 
world may recognize them. As for you, if you care for 
your skins, you will take yourselves off at once." The 
bishops delayed the interdict for two weeks ; then, giving 
up all hope of an accommodation, on the 24th March, they 
proclaimed it. John now ordered all the bishops to leave 
Enf'land ; the only prelate who dared to rem.ain was his 
favorite, the bishop of Winchester ; De Gray had been al- 
ready sent as lord -deputy to Ireland. The sentence of 
excommunication was pronounced in 1209, but without any 
deposition of John from his throne. Fearing that this latv 
ter sentence would soon be issued, he vainly tried to 
streno-then himself by an alliance with Mohammed al 
Nassir, the Saracen whose conquests in Spain were 
threatening the extirpation of Christianity in that country. 
Finally, in 1212, Pope Innocent absolved the vessals of 
John from their fealty, and exhorted all Christian princes 
to unite in dethroning him ; he specially applied to Philip 
of France, only too willing to gratify his own ambition. 
War had already begun between France and England when, 


ill the spring of 1213, the sub-deacon Panel ulpb, a Papal 
messenger who had accompanied Langton from Rome to 
Prance, landed in England. Bj this time John had become 
convinced of the danger of his position ; he therefore sent 
for Pandulph, and opened negotiations. After mucii hesita- 
tion, he finally agreed, on May 13th, to admit Langton to 
the see of Canterbury ; to restore all confiscated Church 
property; to liberate all persons imprisoned for defending 
the rights of the Church ; to never again outlaw an ecclesi- 
astic; to make full indemnity for all injuries inflicted ou 
account of the interdict. The next day was spent by the 
king, his council, and the Pontifical envoy, in secret con- 
sultations, and on the 15th, the following charter, subscribed 
by John, one archbishop, one bishop, nine earls, and three 
barons, was given to Pandulph : " In order to obtain the 
mercy of God for the offences we have committed against 
the Church, and not liaving anything to offer more precious 
than our own person and kingdom, aiid in order that we 
may be humbled before Him who was humiliated for us 
even unto death ; by an inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and 
not compelled by violence or by fear, but of our good and 
free will, Ave yield up, with the consent of our barons, to 
God, to His holy apostles Peter and Paul, to our holy 
mother the Roman Church, to our lord Pope Innocent and 
his Catholic successors, in expiation of our sins and those 
of our family, living and dead, our kingdoms of England 
and Ireland, wdth all their rights and accessories, in order 
to receive them again as a vassal of God and of the Roman 
Church, in witness of which we take the oath of vassalage 
before Pandulph, as ab;olutely as though we were in the 
presence of the Pope, to place ourselves at the disposal of 
the Pope and of his successors ; and our succeeding heirs 
will always be obliged to take the same oath ; and in sign 
of vassalage, w^e and our successors will annually pay to 
the Apostolic See, besides the Peter's Pence, 700 marks for 
England, and 300 marks for Ireland, raised from the reve- 
nues of the kingdom ; all under pain of forfeit of the kingdom 
by that successor who shall dare to violate this permanent 
disposition." Accompanied by his whole court John then 


proceeded to the church, where he laid down his crown and 
•other royal insignia, and took the oath of vassalage. It is 
impossible to believe that John was actuated in this matter 
by any other motive than that of disarming the Pontiff, and 
of obtaining his powerful protection against Philip of 
France and his own discontented subjects. When Innocent 
received the news of John's extraordinary submission, he 
wrote to him : " The Holy Ghost has inspired you to sub- 
ject your kingdom to the Roman Church, that you may 
possess it with more solidity and honor, as a sacerdotal 
kingdom and a royal priesthood." He then appointed 
Nicholas, cardinal-bishop of Frascati, as legate to England, 
with extended powers, instructing him to make peace be- 
tween John and Philip. To the latter he wrote ; " If you 
have hitherto responded to our Apostolic prayers and invi- 
tations, you will continue to give the same proofs of devo- 
tion to the Holy See." On July 20th, John proceeded to 
Winchester, where he met Langton, the bishops of London, 
Ely, Hereford, Lincoln, and Bath, and the prior and monks 
of Canterbury. Having repeated his oath of fealty to the 
Pope, and having sworn that he would abolish all illegal 
customs, and to receive the laws of good king Edward, he 
was publicly relieved of the excommunication at the doors 
of the cathedral. The interdict, however, was not raised 
until June 27th, 1214, when John had done what he could 
to indemnify the victims of his obstinacy and cruelty. (1). 

When Innocent was raised to the Supreme Pontificate, 
the throne of Constantinople was occupied by Mexis III , 
the patriarchal chair by George Xiphilinus. Alexis im- 
mediately sent an embassy to Rome, declaring that he 
would be much pleased if the Holy See wonld send a legate 
to his capital. Innocent, like all his predecessors since 
the time of Cerularius, was daily hoping for an extinction 
of the Greek schism ; he therefore welcomed this overture, 
and sent legates with a letter to Alexis, from which we take 
the following passages : " The Lord Himself laid the foun- 
dation of His Church when he said : 'upon this rock I 

(1) We do not allude to the relations of Pope Innocent with king John and the barons in 
the Majfna Charta affair, as that helongs to profane history, but refer the reader to Lin- 
gard's graphic and impartial narrative. As for the PontifTs conduct in the matter of tbe 
Albigenses, that will be described in the chapter treating of their heresy. 


^vill build My Church.' If the emperor desires his govern- 
ment to rest solidly upon this foundation, he must love 
God above all thin.ojs, and honor His spouse, the Holy 
Roman Church, of which He is at once the founder and the 
foundation-stone. All Christian people murmur against 
the emperor, not only because he does not assist the armies 
fighting the enemy of the Christian name, but because the 
Greek populations have separated from the communion of 
the Holy See and have formed a church of their own, as 
though another Church could exist alongside of that Church 
which is one. . . . The emperor should strive to reunite the 
Greek church with the Roman Church, to bring back the 
daughter to the mother, that the sheep of the Lord may be 
guarded by one shepherd." Alexis having expressed a 
desire for a General Council, to consider the dogmatic 
differences between Rome and Constantinople, Innocent 
replied that " he rejoiced at the emperor's disposition 
toward reunion; his will was to call a Council for the 
consideration of urgent ecclesiastical affairs, and if the 
member wishes to rejoin the head, the daughter to come to 
the mother, and if the patriarch of Constantinople will 
show proper respect and submission to the Roman Church, 
he will be joyfully received as one of the i)rincipal dignitar- 
ies of the Church. The Pontiff begs the emperor to see 
that the patriarch and the chief prelates attend the Coun- 
cil." The patriarch John of Jerusalem having written to 
Innocent, denying that the Roman Church was the Mother 
Church, saying that the church of Jerusalem should receive 
that title, the Pontiff replied : "The church of Jerusalem 
may be the mother of the faith, for from her came the signs 
of the faith; but the Church of Rome is the mother of the 
faithful, because she was placed over them by pre-eminence 
of dignity. She is the mother, not as regards time, but in 
respect of dignity; Andrew was called to the apostolate 
before Peter, but Peter was promoted over him. The 
Synagogue may equally be called the mother of the Church, 
because she existed before the Ciiurch, and the Church 
came out from her ; but still the Church is the universal 
mother, who ever conceives, bears, and nourishes." From 


these initiatory steps, however, there was derived no bene- 
ficial result; the Greek schismatics remained obstinate. 
Finally, when, in self-protection, the Crusaders were com- 
pelled to take Constantinople (1204) and to found a new 
empire, the prospects of union grew brighter, and had the 
Latin emperors not been so persistent in naming Western 
ecclesiastics for all the chief dignities, and thus exciting 
the prejudices of the Greeks against the union as a foreign 
scheme, the long wished-for object might have been accom- 

If Pope Innocent was doomed to disappointment in the 
matter of the Greek schism, he was consoled by the reunion 
of the Armenian church, and that of Bulgaria, with Rome. 
At that time, Armenia was an independent state, closed at 
the north by Mt. Taurus, bounded on the south by the sea, 
on the east by the Euphrates, and on the west by the Caly- 
cadnus. (1). A tradition exists that St. Bartholomew first 
preached the faith to these people, but St. Gregory the 
Illuminator, in the time of Constantine, seems to have been 
the successful founder of the faith in those parts. In 535, 
the Monophysite doctrines made great inroads among the 
Armenians, and they separated from the patriarchate of 
Constantinople long before the schism of Photius, founding 
a national church, a part of which has always remained in 
the Roman communion. The union of the entire Armenian 
church with Rome was perfected in 1199, by king Leo, 
called the Great, and was cordially supported by the Cath- 
olicos or primate, and all the clergy. Since then, the union 
has been broken and renewed, again and again (2j. The 
same is to be sail of the reunion of the Bulgarians, which, 
as the event proved, was promoted by their king, Kolo- 

(1) Since the coaquest of Armenia by the Persians, the Armenians have nearly all been 
wandereis. They are now the Yankees, the Irish, and the Jews of Asia; they are found 
everywhere, and have all the persevering energry of the first, the buovancy and undaunted 
bravery of the second, and the business tact of the third. When Richelieu was scheming 
to develop the commerce of France, he tried to influence the Armenians to settle there in 
great numbers ; the chancellor Sesruier established for them a printing-house at Marseilles- 
Their great monastery at Venice, now many centuries old. is one of the most celebrated in 
Europe for its library and the number of learn -d men it has produced. Neither the schis- 
matic Armenians, nor the united (those in communion with Rome), use the vernacular in 
the liturgy ; like all Easterns, they use their ancient (and dead! language, not the modern 
land clian^pahle) one. The Armenian schismatic monks follow the rule of St. Basil ; but, 
in the time of Pope John XXII., (131f)-1334), most of the united monks adopted the rule of 
St. Dominick. 

(21 The united or Catholic Armenians have two patriarchs, one at Naksivan, in Armenia,, 
and one at Kaminiek, in Poland. The schismatics also have two patriarchs, one at Echmi- 
azlu, near Eri. an, and the other at Cis, in Cilicia- 


Johannes, merely out of hatred for the Greeks, and to 
obtain the protection of the Western princes against the 
Byzantine emperor. 

Pope Innocent III. died at Perugia, on July 16th, 1216, 
in the fifty-sixth year of his age, having sat in the Chair of 
St. Peter eighteen years, six months, and seven days. Ac- 
cording to the superficial Hume, this Pontiff was despotic, 
and he encroached, not only on the domain of earthly 
princes, but upon the rights of the clergy ; his object in 
exciting the " frenzy of the Crusades " was the acquisition 
of greater revenues ; his interdicts were instruments of 
vengeance for the court of Ptome ; he was guilty of barbar- 
ism in exterminating the Albigenses, " the most innocent 
and pacific of men. " (1). If we believe Gibbon, Innocent 
could boast of the two most signal triumphs ever gained 
over good sense and humanity : the esfaUishinent of the dogma 
of Transuhstantiation, and that of the first foundations of the 
Inquisition. (2). Hallam, who expects to understand the 
Middle Ages without having any appreciation of, or, appar- 
ently, any intimate acquaintance with, the Catholic institu- 
tions of the time, declares that in all the annals of the 
Papacy there can be found no such instances of usurpation 
as in the Pontificate of Innocent III. (3). The author of 
the Defence of the Declaration of the French Clergy in 1682, 
supposed by many to be Bossuet, reproves our Pontiff for 
the depositions of Otho and John Lackland ; .making him 
responsible for the cruel wars which followed the first, and 
the misconceptions and hatred caused, in time, in the 
English mind, by the second. (4). After this, one is not 
surprised on finding that Fleury. who was a confident of 
Bossuet, and had taken part in the famous conferences of 
the time, allows no occasion to pass without attacking Pope 
Innocent III. In his History, which is often a mere rehash 
of the calumnies of Matthew of Paris, Matthew Villani, 
Petrarch, and Theodoric of Niem, Fleury has furnished, in 
the present matter, welcome material to nearly all the Prot- 

(1) Hixtoru of Eniilawh vol. i1. 

(•i: Fnllof tlic Hinnan t:n)i>iri\yo\.\\. .,._,^, . , ,, 

(3) VifW of thr Slate of Europe during the Miaale Ages, vol. il- 
(I) Chap. 2nan.1 '.II. 


estant, and to a few Catholic, historians of later days. He 
accuses Innocent of preferring his own interests and those 
of his See to those of the universal Charch (1) ; he says 
that this Pontiff's interference in German affairs was conse- 
quent upon the false maxims of Gregory VII. (2) ; he re- 
proves Innocent for so interpreting the constitution of the 
empire as to deny the right of the emperor to confirm the 
election of a Pope (3) ; he finds fault with Innocent's pre- 
tension to be an arbitrator between kings. (4). However, 
in spite of his reproach of Innocent for having, as he thinks, 
encroached upon the just rights of princes, Fleury is con- 
strained to admit that the Pontiffs conduct was in accord- 
ance with the usages of the time. At the Fourth Council of 
the Lateran there were present 412 bishops, 71 metropolitans 
or primates, more than 800 abbots, and embassadors from 
all the sovereigns ; certainly, in such a gathering of the 
learning, virtue, and responsibility, of Europe, nothing 
would be decided contrary to the sentiments of the time. 
In this Council it was decreed that, if any temporal ruler, 
after being admonished, neglected to clear his domains of 
heretics, he should be excommunicated ; that if he did not 
obey within a year, the Pope should be notified, in order 
that he might absolve that ruler's vassals from their oaths 
of allegiance, and thus open his lands to the conquests of 
Catholics. Speaking of this decree, Fleury says : " Here 
the Church seems to encroach upon the secular power ; but 
it must be remembered that at this Council assisted the 
embassadors of many sovereigns, who consented to these 
decrees in the name of their masters." (5). Why then, asks 
Saint-Cheron of Fleury, " do you find fault with Innocent 
for using a power the exercise of which, in so solemn a cir- 
cumstance, after the decisive events of Germany, England, 
and France, did not call forth the slightest reclamation on 
the part of the representatives of the sovereigns of Christen- 
dom ? " Fleury is positively malignant when he comes to 
speak of the death of Pope Innocent. He says that, after 
he had excommunicated Louis, the son of Philip Augustus, 

(1) Discourse on the .stote of the Church in the lUh and Vith centuries. 
('}) Vol. v.. B. Ixxv.. C. 32. (H) Thill., c. 37. 

(4; Ibid., c. 58- (5) Ibid., B. Ixxvii., U7. 


the Pontiff fell into a fever, which lasted some time, " he 
continuing to eat a great deal, as was his habit (1) .... In 
many things, he was excessively rigorous, and for this rea- 
son his death caused more joy than sorrow to those who 
were subject to him. Mattlteiv of Paris says that John, king 
of England, knew this Pope for the most ambitious and proudest 
of all men, and that he loas insatiable as regards money, and 
was capable of every crime to procure it." 

After this complaisant citation of John Lackland as a 
witness to the character of Innocent, we are not astonished 
at rieury's insinuation that the Pontiff had a narrow escape 
from hell. He recites a pretended vision of St. Lugarde, 
who, after the Pope's death, saw him surrounded by flames, 
and asked him how he was so tormented, receiving for 
answer : " For three things, which would have caused my 
condemnation to eternal fire, had I not repented at the 
close of my life." (2). Sismondi, one of the most patient of 
investigators, and therefore one of the most reliable of 
historians when not overpowered by party spirit, is ex- 
tremely hostile to Innocent III. : he goes so far as to accuse 
the Pontiff of having accepted the guardianshijj of Frederick 
of Sicily with the design of despoiling him. (3). Capefigue, 
who reproaches all the Pontiffs witli a tendency to " enclose 
everything within the limits of Catholic dogma," that is, 
with the habit of regarding things from a Catholic point of 
view, nearly always speaks of Innocent as actuated by a 
spirit of ambition and violence. (4). Nevertheless, he thus 
speaks of this Pontificate : " This Pope is the only Pontiff, 
contemporary with Philip-Augustus, Avho shows a vast and 

(1) This insinuation of gluttony is not corroborated by the old chroniclers. Acconlinj? 
to them. Pope Innocent was very simple as to his table. Golden or silver vessels were 
never seen, unless on ceremonial occasions, sucli as royal visits, etc. ; the service was not 
rendered by nobles, but by ecclesiastics There were never more than three courses, and 
durln<r the meal, a cleric read aloud some pious or learned hdok. 'I'hc aiitlior "f the limls 
disposes of the charire of money- lovintr. According to him. Innocent alwavs defrayed the 
expenses of his journeys ; never availing himself of the custom which allowiM hini to'charpe 
the churches, abbeys, etc., wliere lit; mijiht be- ile always resigned all trifts received, and 
one tenth of all his revenues, to the poor. Din-intr a fandneat Home, he fed, nt his own 
expense, ^000 persons a day, besides those to whom he sent succor at their liomes. Poor 
children were allowed, every day. to clear away the leiviiijrs of ids tal)le. Kvery Saturday 
of Ills leitrn, after having washed and kissed the feet of twelve iiiljrrims, he gave them each 
twelve [lieees of silver. Hut the L'reatesi of all his works of cliaritv was the rehiilldlmr. en- 
larf-'inir. aiiih^iidowiiiL'' of bv far I lie most e.\ tensive ami lii'sl fmiiislieil and eiiuipped li'.spital 
that the world lias ever seen to this day ; that (pf Santo Spirito, at Home, which ;jivt's atten- 
tion, not only to Romans, iiiii to all patients that come to It, and Is, besides, an immense 
fouiidlinsrand orphan asylum. 

(V') IS. I.vxvii., c. (;•-*. 

(.Si llnVuiii l!ii>iihlir:<, vol. ii. 

(i) nu-loiiiiif l')iiUi>-Au\iu>'liis. pa.ssiin. 


active capacity wlucb embraces the Catholic universe. 
There is uot a question concerning crowned heads, barons, 
or castellans; not a private or public quarrel between 
kin<^s : not a difference between barons and monasteries, 
that escapes his vigilance. His vast correspondence is yet 
one of the great monuments of the Middle Ages. His 
legates and cardinals visit every province, prescribing laws, 
proclaiming interdicts, pronouncing anathemas, and every 
one bows the head before the Apostolic lightnings. He 
Wduld raise armies by a Bull and by Indulgences; he 
directed the pfilicy of states, interfering in the government 
of France, England, and the empire, and mereJij hy the ascend- 
ancij of opinion. Wherever I come across a t-reat ability, 
I like to recognize it; and, let us sav it, Innocent III. 
ruled his century far more than did Philip-Augustus and 
the contemporary princes." (1). Michelet acknowledges the 
influence of Innocent upon his age, he admits the popular 
enthusiasm in the war on the Albigenses, he shows us the 
Pontiff trying to lessen the horrors of that struggle and 
protecting the count of Toulouse and his son ; but he makes 
Innocent responsible for the "immense execration " heaped 
by many upon the Holy See, and represents him dying 
with an uneasy conscience. (2). Very different from this 
estimate is that formed by Du Theil, Lingard, Muller, and 
Hurter. In the year 1791, M. de la Porte du Theil pub- 
lished a Collection of CJmrts, Adfi, and Diplomas relating to 
the Historij of France, and in it he gave to the Avorld many 
hitherto unedited letters of Pope Innocent III. Incited by 
his studies, he then published, in the ninth year of the 
"one and indivisible French Kepublic," the result of his 
investigations into the reign of Innocent. From this work 
(3), Saint Cheron, in his Introduction to Hurter's great book, 
makes some lengthy extracts, of which we will give a 
synopsis : " The name of Innocent III. Avill always awaken 
the remembrance of one of the most remarkable personages 
of history ; of one whose virtues and faults will with diffi- 

(1) Hixtani iif T'hiHii Aufiv--tii-% vol. il. >ai HMfiru nf France, vol. ii. 

(31 It was iuseried in Uw Noticets and Extract from the MSS. of the KnUonal and 
other I ilnnriex, indilislied h'l the ]\'ational I)i»titulc of Frnnee.vol. ^)^..and bore the 
title: li'oiirnphieiil Memoir' on Reiheit de Courfon, with Extracts and an A'lalDnis 
of Ten Letters of Pope Innocent HI. 


culty be exactly defined by an impartial philosophy. . . , 
Who can refuse praise to Innocent's Christian firmness, 
when he sees him occupied, for fifteen years, sustaining 
against a powerful king who is blinded by passion the 
cause of an unfortunate princess, innocently become the 
object of unjust disgust and of cruel persecution ? Thanks 
to the inflexible Innocent, justice finally triumphed. When 
this unfortunate queen was again embraced by her spouse 
and replaced upon her throne, the king owed to the act of 
justice and of humanity the remarkable return of his sub- 
jects' affection, and therefore those incredible and generous 
efforts which, the next year, in the battle of Bouvines, 

secured him the victory If it is hard to totally excuse 

Innocent's conduct in the affairs of England, and if we 
avow that the temporal interests of the Holy See were the 
visible objects of his policy in regard to king John, we 
cannot deny that in England, on a thousand occasions, he 
sustained justice, and caused it to triumph, against the 

most detestable of princes It was not easy to arrange 

the difference wdiich agitated Germany. To s]ieak impar- 
tially, there was no real injustice, on the part of Innocent, 
in preferring the cause of Otho to that of Philip of Suabia. 
Immediately after the death of the latter, Otho lost the 
good will of his protector; but this w'as on account of his 
own ingratitude, and his unfaithfulness to his own engage- 
ments. . . . The temporal power of the Holy See in Italy 
increased during his reign, but if he soon saw the Roman 
people, for a long time indocile, become submissive ; and if 
the provinces, stolen by the late emperors, soon returned 
to his obedience, almost without a compelling blow, is it 
not just to appreciate that abilitj^ which restored its ancient 
brilliancy to the Pontifical throne, and without a bloody 
revolution ? " Lingard speaks as follows of Innocent s 
deposition of John Lackland : " At first, indeed, the Popes 
contented themselves with spiritual censures ; but in an 
age when all notions of justice were remodelled after the 
feudal jurisprudence, it Avas soon admitted that princes by 
their disobedience became traitors to God ; that as traitors 
they ought to forfeit their kingdoms, the fees which they 


held of God ; and that to pronounce sucli sentence belonged 
to the Pontiff, the vicegerent of Christ upon earth. Bj 
these means the servant of the servants of God became the 
sovereign of the sovereigns, and assumed the right of judg- 
ing them in his court, and of transferring their crowns as 
he thought just." (1). Speaking of John's becoming a 
vassal of the Pontiff, the same author says : " Every 
epithet of reproach has been expended by writers and 
readers against the pusillanimity of a prince who could 
lay his dominions at the feet of a foreign priest, and receive 
them from him again as his feudator3\ It was certainly a 
disgraceful act (2) ; but there are some considerations 
which, if they do not remove, will at least extenuate his 
offence. Though the principles of morality are unchange- 
able, our ideas of honor and infamy perpetually vary with 
the ever-varying state of society. To judge impartially of 
our ancestors, we are not to measure their actions b}' the 
standard of our present manners and notions ; we should 
transport ourselves back to the age in which they lived, 
and take into the account their political institutions, their 
principles of legislation and government. Now, in the 
thirteenth century, there was nothing so very degrading in 
the state of vassalage. It was the condition of most of the 
princes of Christendom. The king of Scotland was the 
vassal of the king of England ; and the king of England 
the vassal of the king of France. . . . Henry (father of king 
John), powerful as he was, had become the feudatory of 
Pope Alexander III, ; and the lion-hearted Eichard had 
resigned his crown to the emperor of Germany, and con- 
sented to hold it of him by the payment of a yearly rent. 
John, in his distress, followed these examples^ and the 
result seems to have recommended his conduct to the imi- 
tation of the Scottish patriots, who, to defeat the claim of 
his grandson, Edward I., acknowledged the Pope for their 
superior lord, and maintained that Scotland had always- 
been a fief of the Church of Eome. ... To the king it 
offered this benefit : that the very power which had so^ 

(1) HMnry of Eimlanil, edit. 18^.3, vol ii., c. 3, p. 3-Jf!, note. 

& And almost immediately Lingard proceeds to show that it was not a disgrace. In Ids 
anxiety to placate his Protestant countrymen, this author often tends to a mi;:inr:;: itic ;: : 
tne truth, and sometimes verjyes on the inaccurate- 


nearly driven him from the throne was now bound by duty 
and interest to preserre him and his posterity on it, ag.iinst 
all his foes, both foreign and domestic. To the barons it 
offered a protector, to whom, as superior lord, they might 
appeal from the despotic government of his vassal. From 
that moment theij began to demand the grant cf their liberties." (1). 
The celebrated Swiss historian, John Mliller, says of Pope 
Innocent: " To great firmness of character he joiued sweet- 
ness and amenity. Simple and economical in all his habits, 
he was benevolent even unto prodigality. He fulfilled, 
toward the young Frederick, his duties of guardian like a 
magnanimous prince and a loyal cavalier. (2). If the reader 
wishes to become familiar with the Pontificate of lunocent 
III., and hence with the spirit of a time so different from 
our own, he can do no better than to carefully read Hur- 
ler's admirable work. What the Protestant Eanke partly 
did in the way of lifting clouds of prejudice from our view 
of several Pontiffs ; what the Protestant Voigt nearly en- 
tirely did for St. GregoryVTI., that the Swiss Protestant 
minister fully did for Innocent III. 


The Albigenses. 

The writers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries gave 
the name of Albigenses to the inhabitants of Lower Langue- 
doc, and hence the heretics who appeared in that part of 
France in the twelfth century, and wlio especially flour- 
ished in the city of Albi, came to be known as Albigenses. 
Many of these sectarians were originally Catharist Wal- 
denses ; hence we find, among other names of the Albigen- 
ses, that of Cathari applied to them. Tl)e basis of their 
doctrine was Manicheism, but variously modified by the 
^lifferent vagaries of the many hei-etical leaders, such as 
Petf'r of Bruis, Arnold of Brescia, etc.; hence we meet with 

(1) We italicise tie last sentence, as well worth the reader's particular consideration. 
Ihiil., p. :i3i. 

(2) UHivcrml HMotji. vol ii., c. 9. 


the names Petrobruisians, Aruoldists, Henricians, etc., as 
well as sucli designations as Patarini, Passagers, Publicans, 
•derived from their morals and customs. (1). The Albigen- 
ses werft a confused agglomeration of heretics, most of them 
too ign,^rant to be able to give an account of what they 
Teally believed, only agreeing in rejecting the Sacraments 
and external services of the Church, and in a violent 
hatred of the hierarchy. Hence we often find that the 
writers who treat of their errors, are not always concordant 
in their descriptions, though they sufficiently agree, while 
narrating the principal Albigensian doctrines, to enable us 
to understand the general system. Among the contempo- 
rary authors who combated these errors, the principal are 
Peter of Vaux-Cernay, a Parisian Cistercian, who, with his 
uncle, the abbot Guido, labored many years in this cause, 
and was present at the final Crusade (2) ; Vincent of Beau- 
Tais (3) ; William of Puyslaurens, chaplain to the younger 
Eaymond of Toulouse. (4). 

The errors of the Albigenses are summed up, as follows, 
by Peter of Vaux-Cernay. (5). There are two Creators : the 
good God, author of the invisible, and the evil God, author 
■of the visible world. The latter was the author of the Old 
Testament, and was a liar, for he told our first parents, say 
the Albigenses, that they would die if they ate of the for- 
bidden tree ; the former was the author of the New Testa- 
ment, and this part of Scripture alone the Albigenses 
respected, together with such passages of the Old Testa- 
ment as were inserted into it. The evil God was a homi- 
<;ide, for he destroyed Sodom, Pharao's hosts, and the 
Egyptians ; and he wa,s the author of the deluge. The good 
God cures souls, the evil one bodies. (6). All the patri- 
archs. Prophets, etc., are damned ; the Baptist was one of 
the greater demons. The Christ who was born in the visible 
Bethlehem, and crucified at Jerusalem, was a wicked man ; 
Mary Magdalen was his concubine : the good Christ, who 

(1) They were called Pifres and Patriihs, because they were, as a rule, unrefined ; Puh- 
licniii-i, because they were supposed to hold their women in common ; Pcv^sagers, because 
they were energetic proselytizers ; Cathari, Bom-Hotnmes, because they affected to be 
puic. above all other men. 

(2) HMitrii of tlie Alhiiieii>fes. dedicated to Innocent HI. 

(3) Hlxtoricnl Mirror, B. xxlx. (5> Loc. cit., c. 11. 

(4) Chronicle. (6) Roger of Hoveden, year 1176. 


was born and crucified in an invisible worki, was never in 
this world, unless spiritually in the body of Paul. The 
good God hatl two wives, Colla and Colliba, and from them 
many children. (1). The Roman Church is a den of thieves, 
and the whore of the Apocalj'pse. Thej- denied all the 
Sacraments. Matrimony was whoredom, and no one who 
begat children could be saved. Our souls are the apostate 
spirits of heaven and after many transmigrations will return 
to their first bodies, which, after their rebellion, remained 
glorified in space ; for this present body, there is no resur- 
rection. There were two orders of Albigenses ; the perfect 
led, ajjparently, an austere life, lived continently, and pro- 
fessed a horror for lies and oaths ; the believers lived like 
other men, and were often of irregular morals, believing 
that they could be saved by the faith, and the imposition of 
hands of the perfect. (2). The above account of the Albi- 
gensian doctrines is confirmed by the Froftssion of Faith 
signed by Bernard Primus, Durand of Osca, and other 
numerous converts, who w^ere convinced of their errors at 
the Conference of Pamiers, in 1210, by Guido of Yaux- 
Cernay. (3). 

Of the few princes who favored *the Albigenses, the most 
powerful was Raymond VI., count of Toulouse. Under the 
reign of his father, who was nearly alwaj's at war, heresy 
had prospered in the large and w^ealthy principality, al- 
though Raymond V. was himself a devout Catholic. The 
young Raymond, owing to his father's almost constant 
absence from home, had passed most of his time with 
heretics, and had imbibed their errors ; when his father 
died, in 1194, he extended his open protection to them, and 
even gave a hundred marks to every chevalier who would 

(1) Some said that there was only one Creator, who had two sons, Christ and ilic ilevil. 

(2) The morals of the Albigenses may Ix' jiidircd liy the following pjissiipe fnMii I. like of 
Tiiy, aSpaiiisli convert: *'Ai(//'i ■ nl luiviva <l(lirtiilin.tiu(iin in riniiisi nl ii.iiiin lii.r- 
■itrid : (ihulittirtilins iniitrr, fi iitrr fnitn, imlir lilid." Casariiis of Hei>terliacl< says 
that at the siege (if lii'Zicrs the lierctirs tliiiii.' ilie liililt- fnnii llie ramparts, " /iH;((;()//'rs 
!<iilirr I mil." AnolliiT went to ihc lii<.'h alliir nf the ciirlieilriil (if Toiilniise, aiul niilirin 
piirffiiril. »m\ iKtIld (iltiiiis iiiiiiiiiiiiiit Ills ill tiisil. (jiiiiliiin, .snntii siiin i- nltari cnllu- 

citti). \'iiiiri iiiiliilsi riiiil."—*n f ilic must in-ultiiiir cpitlieis in ilic Kiijiiisli laiigiia^re. 

Indicative of a viee to wliicli these licretlcs were addicted, is derived from one of their 
names— f{i(/(/((ri. from whicli came ilie French /foi/i/i c-- mid Jiniiiiln rir. 

(8) This conference was held witli Ilie Altiikrciisjiin Icadcis liv tlie liolv Spaidsh liii-liop, 
Dietro of Osma, who, with St. I)oinintcl<. liad ticcn prcacliitit' llic faith iii nil tlic heretical 
districts. HayiiK'i"' Hok'cr. Ilic licifticiil i-oiiiit of Koi.x, picsjiii d. mid lll!l^tcr Arnold of 
Campraidian. a priest favoratilc to the AlliiLTcTiscs. wiis m,id»< iirtijter 'I'l.e rcMilt was the 
smbmissiou of Arnold, and the conversion of uiauy of the inhaliitanis of I'amiers. 


embrace their doctrine. (1). His violence against certain 
monks caused his excommunication by Pope Celestine III., 
but Innocent III. absolved him. Raymond's most active 
ally, and the most cruel enemy of the Church in France, 
was Raymond Roger, count of Foix. The other protectors 
of heresy were Raymond Roger de Beziers, lord of Car- 
cassonne ; Gaston, viscount of Beam ; Bernard, count of 
Comminges ; and Gerold, count of Armagnac. The cause 
of heresy was greatly helped by the negligence of the 
archbishop of Narbonne, Berengarius, who constantly re- 
sided in his rich abbey of Mount Ara^on, and for ten years 
had not visited his diocese, disregarding the complaints of 
the Papal legate and the threats of the Pontiff. He was 
guilty of the worst kinds of simony ; his priests frequently 
lived in concubinage, were addicted to dice ai.d hunting, and 
became lawyers, jugglers, and physicians. (2). After many 
attempts to recall archbishop Berengarius to a sense of 
duty, Pope Innocent III. deposed him. (3). In speaking of 
the progress of heresy in the South of France, Hurter 
ascribes it partly, " among the great, to their free and 
luxurious life, which passed along in joy and in love, in 
tournaments and in play. The troubadours, who found 
welcome at every Provengal court, who wandered from 
castle to castle, who scattered their railleries on holy and 
profane things in promiscuous assemblies of men and 
women, not sparing bishops and priests, monks and nuns, 
excited and sustained at first an indifference, and finally, an 
aversion for the ministers of the Church. In the cities, 
the middle classes welcomed doctrines wliicli flattered their 
ideas, their tastes, and that desire of enjoyment permitted 
them by their wealth." In 1203, the legates of Pope 
Innocent III. succeeded in obtaining the expulsion of the 
Albigsnses from Toulouse, and in receiving from the princi- 
pal citizens an oath of fidelity to the Church, but the 
resistance of the surrounding cities nullified this measure, 

(1) He caused jugglers to deride and mimic the priest, during the Mass, thus publishing 
his want of all veneration. Ke despised the tit-s of marriage, and abandoned a woman so 
goon as she ceased to please. (See William of Puy Laurens, c. 5 ; Christian Gaul, xiii., 
329). So violent did the Albigenses become, during the first years of his rule, that, whenever 
a bishop wished to visit a parish, he begged the lord of the place to accompany him. 

(2) Epb<tles of Innocent III., x., 68 ; iii., '24; vii., 75 ; vi., 242. 

(.3) Sismondi declares that the scandalous life of some prelates favored the growth oi 
heresy, and yet he blames the missionaries for "arrogance " id trying to reform them. 


and in the year 1204 the legate Arnold wrote to the Pon- 
tiff: "I do not dare to hope for success, for we have no 
help from the bishops ; I wish therefore to be relieved of 
my mission." The other legates hearkened to the encour- 
aging exhortations of Innocent, and marched through the 
country, exhorting, disputing, and reprimanding, but they, 
too, met with so little success and so much danger, that 
they were about to demand a recall, when the Spanish 
bishop, Diego de Osma, and Dominick de Guzman met 
them at Montpellier, and revived tlieir courage. These 
penetrating minds had realized that nothing but simplicity 
Avould affect a people whose favorite excuse was the osten- 
tation of the orthodox clergy. Taking off their shoes and 
dismissing their attendants, Diego, Dominick, and the 
legate Arnold (1), entered upon their apostolic mission, 
obtaining much success, and gaining the affection even of 
those they did not convert. At Montreal, they were joined 
by the Cistercians Guido and Peter of Vaux Cernay, with 
thirtv members of their order. The missionaries now 
divided into small bands, and resumed their work, living 
entirely upon alms, and making all their journeys on fv)ot. 
In a short time, most of the Cistercians became discouraged, 
Diego de Osma was recalled to Spain, but Dominick de 
Guzman, the future founder of the Friar Preachers, per- 
sisted in his mission, obtained new co-laborers, and contin- 
ued as before. (2). What would have been the result, had 
not the murder of the legate, Peter de Castelnau. precipi- 
tated severe measures against the Albigenses and their 
protectors, we cannot tell. A long and cruel war ensued, 
but as we are not bound to defend its excesses, or to write 
a panegyric upon Simon de Montfort, and to excuse iiis 

(1) The other legate. Peter <le Castelniui. heinu specially obuoxloiis to the Albijrenses, 
was advised by DicK" to witlulraw. He did so, and in IJOT he reconciled the people of 
Montpellier ".vl'th the klnp of Arajroii, and re-estatilished peace between the nobles of the 
two sides of tlie Ulione. Fiiillnk' in Ills endeavor to make the connt of Toulouse take 
severe measures against the heretics, he excoininunicateii hiui. Raymond then submitted, 
again prevaricated, and was again excommunicated. The next morning. Jan. l."), Vi09,, 
having celebrated mass. Peter was attacked by two unknown men. one of whom killed him 
bv a thrust of his lan<'e The martyr's body was buried iu the abl)ey of St. Giles, and in 
1.5(12 the " Keformers " burned his remains. 

(:>) Durlntr this mission. St. Domlnb'k gained the esteem of many of the poorer nobles, 
and tliev contlded t^ him the care of their daughters. For these be founded an establish- 
ment near H'e church of I'roujlle. assigning them a common rule, at flrst that of .>^i. 
Augustine. Very soon this convent could boast of havluR been the cradle of the Rrwil 
Dominican Order. 


ambition, we refer the reader to profane history for its 
details. (1). 

But there is one alleged incident of this war which we 
cannot overlook. Velly, d'Anquetil, Sismondi, Michelet, 
Henri Martin, and nearly every encyclopedist, record a 
presumed act of barbarity, on the part of a Papal legate, 
which has no good historical foundation. Even Guizot, in 
full session of the French Academy (Jan. 24, 1861;, in his 
Reply to F. Lacordaires Inaugural Biscours", did not hesitate 
to tell the illustrious Dominican : '' Six hundred years ago, 
Monsieur, if my comrades of to-day met you, they would 
have angrily assailed you as a hateful persecutor ; and 
your brethren, zealously exciting the conquerors of heretics, 
would have cried : ' Strike, strike ; God will distinguish 
his own ! '" The event here designated is supposed to 
have happened at the storming of Beziers, in 1209. Now 
the contemporary narratives of this action are five ; one by 
Arnald, abbot of Citeaux, and Milo, a Papal secretary — 
both legates of the Holy See to the Crusaders ; a second 
by Peter of Yaux-Cernay ; a third by an unknown chron- 
icler, styled the anonymous Provengal ; a fourth by William 
of Puy Laurens ; and a fifth by Caesarius, a monk of 
Heisterbach, in the diocese of Cologne. The last author 
alone says anything of the alleged incident, and in these 
words : " The Crusaders arrived before a large city, called 
Beziers, which was said to h-ive contained more than a 
hundred thousand inhabitants, and they besieged it. Before 
the eyes of the Crusaders, the heretics urinated on a vol- 
ume of the holy Gospels, and threw it from the ramparts 
into the Christian ranks, accompanying it with a shower of 
arrows, and saying : ' Wretches, behold your law ! ' But 
Christ, Author of the Gospels, did not pass unpunished 
this outrage against himself. For some of the soldiers, 
burning with zeal for the faith, and like lions, similar to 
those warriors of whom we read in Macchabees, II., c. xi., 11, 
intrepidly scaled the walls, and forcing the gates, took the 
city, putting to flight the terrified heretics. But having 

(1) Cantu, Univ. Hist.— Pap. Masson, Anna/.*.— Blanc, French Revolution, vol. i., 
p. 10; vol. v., p. 369 ; vol. vl., pp. 160, 354; edit. 1847.— Witche, The Albigensians in the 
Face of History, 1878.— See also Nicolas, Uelations of Socialism with Protestantism 
u/i'J all other heresies, 1852. 


learned from tlie heretics that mauy Catholics were in their 
ranks, the soldier.- addressed the abbot, saying : * What are 
we to do ? We cannot distinguish the good from the 
wicked.' Then, it is said, the abbot and others, fearing 
lest their danger might cause the heretics to feign that 
they were Catholics, and that, aft^r having saved their 
lives, they would return to their errors, cried : ' Strike, the 
Lord will know His own ! ' And therefore innumerable 
persons were put to death in this city." So speaks, indeed, 
Csesarius of Heisterbach, a monk who was six hundred 
miles from the scene of action, and who can only report. 
" it is said." But the legates Arnald and Milo, Peter of 
Vaux-Cernay, the anonymous Provencal, and William of 
Puy Laurens, all either participants in the action or 
witnesses of it, make not the slightest allusion to the san- 
guinary order. Nor is the authority of Csesarius so great, 
or are the restraining motives of the others so evident, that 
the negative evidence of these latter must yield to the 
positive testimony of the former. The four narratives 
which are silent as to the alleged command were written 
by persons who show that they were, by no means, men of 
moderation, that they were advocates of the utmost se- 
verity against the Albigenses, and that they would have 
been not at all unwilling to record an instance of what, 
though we now call it cruelty, would have been, at that 
time, regarded as a matter of course by both parties in 
the strife. (I). But it is easy to show that the dialogue 
between the legate Arnald and the soldiers, narrated by 
Csesarius, did not take place. According to the four wit- 
nesses above mentioned, and all tlie old French clironiclers, 
the following were the circumstances of the taking of Bcziers. 

(II Arn:il(l ( llv savs : "The rity of B.'-ziers vviis taken, ami ruir {ri»>\ys put u> tin- .s\\<,rd 

neurlv 20.(100 in'isuiis.' sparing neither tank, nor sex, nor atre.'"— Modern antlioi> bave In- 
creased this miinher to 10(1,000. ami I'ite Cipsariiis as aiitliorilv. Now ttiis monk merely 
.savs llial Iti'Zlirs " ifds siiiil to liave contained lOO.iKX) inlialiitants before tlie sie^e," and he 
does not sav that all were destroyed, hut that " itiminierahle persons were put to death." 
But it is very unlikely that Beziers was so densely populated. In his llisti-iii nj tli, Citji 
aiKl /{i>7io/w "f lirzins (1H,'>4), Salmtier says ; " If it is true, as I helieve, that Ui-zlers has 
never varieii in extent, the estimate of l.").()00 or 1-J.0(T0 will he tlie most prohaMe one. And 
all the inhahltants were not killed ; manv I'erl a Inly departed before i he sieire. anil many may 
have escaped liefore the assault. The city was not entirely destroyed, for in .\utr.. 1^:10, 
Simon de Moiitfoit L'aveio the ahliev of citeaux a house situated in B('Ziers. In our own 
dav we oliscrve vimtmI mansions the archilecliiral stvie of which indicates a liale anterior 
to the thirleeiilh ceiiturv." How, we ask. coidd 100,(K)0 have dwelt in a space destined for 
15 (WO or less'.' In the Itidlitiit nl IIh Aicliiniliiiiirdl Soiiilii of" lii'zins. series II.. vol. v.', 
inny h? constilted a lopoeraphical study, tendlDR to prove that the victims of the celebrated 
Ma.Hsaere iiuml>ered less than SOOO. 


Some of the besieged made a sortie, and wounded one of 
the Crusaders who had advanced to the bridge. Then 
the Eibalds, as a certain kind of soldiers were called, rushed 
to repel the sortie, without even taking time to put on 
their armor. So impetuous were they, that they entered 
the town behind their foes. " They made the assault," 
says Peter of Vaux-Cernay, " without the knowledge of the 
gentlemen of the army, and instantly took the city." " The 
inhabitants of Beziers, ' says William de Puy Laurens, 
'• could not resist the first attack of the common soldiers." 
The legate Arnald says that, while he was debating with 
the leaders as to how they might save the Catholics sup- 
posed to be in the city, " the Ribaldi and other inferior 
persons, without awaiting orders, invaded it." The anony- 
mous Provencal attributes the beginning of the carnage to 
the truands, and says that the leaders had nothing to dc 
with it. It is evident, then, that the impressive dialogue 
did not cause the slaughter. (1). 

Protestant authors have always found plenty of material 
in the Crusade proclaimed by Innocent III. against the 
Albigenses for the charge of intolerance and cruelty against 
the Catholic Church, and were the present a question as to 
whether heretics ought to be converted or punished by fire 
and sword, we would ask to be excused from arguing it. 
But besides being heretics, the Albigenses were enemies of 
public order ; the very existence of society was threatened 
hj them. They taught that marriage was a crime. What 
government, even in the nineteenth century, would like to 
«ee that doctrine embraced and practically carried out by 
its subjects? They taught that all the pastors of the Cath- 
olic Church were devouring wolves, and that they should 
be exterminated ; nor was their talk mere mouthing and 
idle declamation — wherever they could, they reduced it to 
action. They taught that all the ceremonies of the Church, 
all her external signs of worship, the Holy Sacrifice of the 
Mass, all things, in fine, which presented her as a visible 

(1) The narratives of Caesarius are regarded as grotesquely improbable by Possevin, 
Vossius, Dupin, Dufresney, and Fleury. In our own day, Hurler, Alzog, and an eminent 
critic, Daunou, hold the same opinion. The last author, in the Literary Hwtnru of 
France, vol. xvii., gives a biography of Arnald of Citeau.x, and declares that he cannot re- 
ceive the account bv Caesarius, concerning the part played by the legate at Beziers. It is 
to be noted that Daunou is very hostile to the Middle Ages. 


mediator between God and man, were intolerable abuses, 
crying evils and impostures, which were to be destroyed 
and banished from the face of the earth. Were the faithful 
to quietly bow their heads, and allow the extirpatioo of all 
they held most dear ? Were the Albigenses to be exempted 
from tolerating the belief of Christendom, and Christians to 
be made to tolerate their own destruction ? Robbery, out- 
rage, and murder, under the cloak of religion, were devas- 
tating society. What but the strong hand of power could 
remedy the evil ? When a riot breaks out among us, do we 
shut up our police and military, and send a few preachers 
to talk to the mob? Again, we must remember that the 
Church did not recommend force until every other means 
had been exhausted, and then, in the Third Council of the 
Lateran, war was declared on " the Belgians, Aragonese, 
Navarrese, Basques, Cotterels (knifers), and Triaverdins, 
who respected neither churches nor monasteries ; sparing 
not orphans, women, or old age ; but pillaging and desolating 
everywhere." (1). A regular Crusade was finall}" preached 
by Innocent III., and the alacrity with which it was taken 
up is a strong argument for its necessity and its justice, 
unless we are willing to suppose that the chivalry of 
France were all either fools or villainous ruffians. But the 
civil wickedness and self-outlawrv of the Albigenses is 
proved by the public confession of the count of Toulouse, 
made to the legate, in 1209, and by the testimony of contem- 
porary historians who were ocular witnesses of the horrors 
they narrate. And what must have been the rank and file, 
in the matter of fanatical cruelty, when the royal count of 
Toulouse caused his own brother to be strangled, because 
he had returned to the faith ? (2). 

The excesses and crimes committed by the Crusaders of 
Simon de Montfort are not to be excused, but it is certain 
that Pope Innocent was far from favoring or excusing them ; 
he would have punished them, could his vo:ee have been 

(1) Canon 27. 

C) Bakivvin, lirother of Raymond, tiad lieen reconciled with the Cliurcli, and fouKht 
afterwards under tlie batiners of Montfort. IJeinp lietriiyed into the hands <if Raymond by 
the lord de roiiiie, lie was iriven to the count of Foix to he tiealt with. Tlin, li"' l-miin, 
aided hv some chevaliers, hunjr the unfortunate to a tree with his own hands.— P*tkr ov 
Vaix-Ckk.n.w, c. T.'>. 


heard. Such is the verdict of the impartial Du Theil, of 
whose erudite work Ave had occasion to speak iu the last 
chapter. "Of all the ministers of the church, Pontiflfs, 
bishops, abbots and monks, who, through mistaken piety, 
or imprudent zeal, or hypocritical ambition, nourished the 
germ, hastened the development of this bloody quarrel, 
directed its course, or prolonged its consequences, it is 
certain Pope Innocent III. had the least reason for self-re- 
proach. . . . During the course of his Pontificate, he appears 
to have been always on his guard against any suggestions- 
of worldly interest to mingle injustice with the work of the 
faith, especially after the ambition of Simon de Montfort 
had become the cause wherefore the war was so cruelly 
prolonged. . . . Not only the letters of the Pontiff, but 
history, and the original Acts, show that Innocent did not 
consent to a legitimatization of Montfort's conquests until 
the very last moment, and then he was deceived. For a 
long time he repelled the insinuations of the nuncio Thedi- 
sius, a minister who was artful, miserly, cruel, I almost say 
ferocious and barbarous. Whenever Raymond could make 
his own voice heard, or cause his justification to reach the 
ears of the Pontiff, his complaints were heeded, and Inno- 
cent begged the chiefs, both lay and ecclesiastical, of the 
Crusade, to reconcile their fiery zeal for religion with the 
regards due to humanity. Vain exhortations ! He could 
not moderate so strong an impulse. Innocent III. . . . be- 
lieving, perhaps, little in the sincerity of the offers and 
protestations of Raymond, who had really never thoroughly 
abandoned the party of the innovators ; or, perhaps, fear- 
ing that heresv would take firmer root, did not dare to 
exert an authority which, under the circumstances, might 
be compromised. Hence he was forced to sanction the 
spoliation of the unfortunate Raymond ; but it must be 
admitted that it was in spite of himself." 

Mosheim tells us that the heretics of the thirteenth cen- 
tury all agreed that Catholicism was a mass of superstitions, 
the rule of the Popes was a mere usurpation and a tyranny. 
Nor, he asserts, did they rest satisfied with the expression 
of these opinions ; they refuted superstition and imposture 


by arguments taken from Scripture, and they declaimed 
against the vices and power of the clergy with a zeal very 
pleasing to princes and magistrates, who were sick of the 
pretensions of Churchmen (1). That the weavers, laborers, 
etc., of Languedoc and Provence, and tlieir cut throat 
friends of Navarre and Aragon, were not very subtle 
doctors of theology, or very accurate expositors of Scrip- 
ture, the reader will perceive by a glance at their doctrines. 
Like the more modern Huguenots, their theological argu- 
ments were empty declamations, foul insults, indecent 
railleries, and reasonings by the strong hand ; their use 
of a " free and open Bible " caused them to more tlian 
rival, in absurdity, iniquity, and blasphemous impurity, 
their spiritual ancestors, the Manicheans of St. Augus- 
tine's acquaintance. As for Mosheim's remark about the 
disgust felt by the civil powers at the usurpations of 
Churchmen, it is refuted by the prompt zeal with wdiich 
these powers repressed the Albigenses, at the command of 
those Churchmen. Bjsnage and some other Protestants 
are desirous of establishing a spiritual descent from the 
Albigenses, but they forget that these gentry, without bid- 
ding farewell to their own theories, could not have signed 
any Lutheran, Calvinist, or Anglican profession of faith. 
And is there one Protestant sect read}^ to concur in the 
-absurdities and blasphemies of the Albigenses? 


The Twelfth General Council : Fourth of the Lateran. 

In May of the year 1213, the sixteenth of his Pontificate, 
Pope Innocent III. convoked an Ecumenical Council to 
meet at Rome in November, 1215, to concert measures for 
the recovery of the Holy Land and for the reformation of 
Church discipline, and to condemn tha heresies of the 
Albigenses. The Council met under tlie presidencv of tlin 
Pontiff in the Lateran basilica, Nov. 18 1215 There were 
present 491 bishops, of whom 77 were primates and im'tro- 

(!) Cent. A'///., p. ii.,c. ^, « •-'. 


ipolitans, and two patriarchs, those of Constantinople and 
Jerusalem ^1), many procurators for absent prelates, and 
more than 800 abbots and priors. Also in attendance were 
the " orators " of Frederick, king of Sicily, and emperor- 
elect; of the emperor of Constantinople, and of the kings 
of France, England, Aragon, Hungary, Jerusalem, and 
Cyprus. (2). Pope lunocent opened the Council with a 
sermon on the words of Christ, " With desire I have 
desired to eat this pasch with you, before I suffer." (3) 
v(Luke, xxii., 15). The following are the principal passages : 
" As Christ is my life, and death my gain, I do not refuse 
to drink from the chalice of suffering which is offered me 
ior the defense of the Catholic faith, for the deliverance of 
the Holy Land, and for the liberty of the Church, although 
J have desired to continue in the flesh until the accomplish- 
ment of the work begun. ... I wish to celebrate with you a 
.triple pasch : a corporal, a spiritual, and an eternal one. 
A corporal one, a passage from one place to another, to 
-deliver oppressed Jerusalem ; a spiritual one, a passage 
irom one condition of things to another, for the imprcjve- 
ment of the universal Church ; an eternal one, a passage 
ivoin this life to another, to eternal glory. . . . My brothers, 
what ought we now to do? I defer entirely to your will ; 
I open my heart entirely to you ; I submit to your advice ; 
1 am ready, if you deem it good, to give myself all the 
trouble, to go to kings, princes, and peoples, even to jour- 
ney to the Holy Land, and, if I can, to excite all with a loud 
voice to fight the battle of the Lord, to avenge the insults 
■offered to Jesus Christ, who, because of our sins, has been 
expelled from His country and from the home He bought 
with His Blood, and in which he accomplished the means 
of salvation for our redemption. We priests of the Lord 
ought to attach a particular importance to the succoring of 
the Holy Land with ^ur goods and our blood. . . . The 

(1) The patriarfh of Antioch sent a substitute, he being seriously ill ; the Saracens pre- 
Teiiieil tlie patriarch of Alexautlrla from attending, but he sent one of his deacons. 

(2) As an illustration of the ideas of the time, we notice that the prince-bishop of Li^ge 
appeared at the first session in the mantle and scarlet hatof a count ; in tlie second, dressed 
in the green costume of a duke; in the third, vested as a bishop. Counting the bishops, 
abbot.-, representatives of princes, theologians, notaries, etc., the attendants at this Council 
numbered 2dS3. 

' ) :;i;;h*; months after. Pope Innocent died. 


time has come when, as the apostle said, judgment should 
commence in the House of the Lord, for every corruption 
of the people comes principal 1}- from the clergy. When 
the priest, the anointed one, sins, he causes the people ta 
sin. . . . Faith is perishing, religion is disfigured, liberty is 
tlireatened, justice is trodden under foot. Heretics are 
lifting their heads ; also schismatics. Perjurers are vent- 
ing their fury ; the children of Hagar are triumphant." 

One of the first acts of the Council was to condemn the 
errors of the Albigenses. Against their prime error, de- 
rived from the Manicheans, that there are two supreme 
Principles, the Council declares there is but one God, one 
Principle, one Creator uf all things visible and invisible ; 
the demons were created good, they became evil of their 
own accord ; man sinned, yielding to the suggestion of the 
devil. Against the Albigensian error on the Eucharist, 
tlie Council teaches that " the Body and Blood of Jesus 
Christ are truly contained in the Sacrament of the altar 
under the species of bread and wine ; the bread being 
transubstantiated, by the divine power, into the Bod}-, and 
the wine into the Blood." Against their error on Baptism, 
it is declared that the Sacrament avails for both infants 
and adults. Against the error on the use of matrimonv, it 
is taught that virgins and the continent are not the only 
ones to merit eternal happiness, bat that the married also. 
Avho lead a just life, please God. The Council then con- 
demned the errors of the abbot Joachim of Flora and of 
Amalricus. (1). 

But the principal object of the Council was to concert meas- 
ures for a general Crusade. Hence Innocent ordered that, 
on the 1st June following, all Crusaders who wished to go 
by sea should be at Brindisi or Messina, ready to embark ; 
those who preferred the land route should march, accom- 
panied by a Papal legate, on the same da}-. Orders were 

(1) .loaclilin liilrodiiced a (iiialernity in the Trinity, linldiiiK- tliat tlii' divine essence was a 
SomettdiiLr disllnci froni the tliree J'ersons. He was not, tinwever, a heretic, for some time 
before his death he e.xpressly sulnnltted all his oiiinions to tlie jud^'nieiit of tlie t'hiircli,and 
he died fifteen years tiefore the Twelfth Council was lield. Ttie Counril plainly recopnizes 
the ifood dispositions of ,Joa<-ldin in its ilecrce airainst Ills doctrine. — .\malricns, a clerk of 
ChartreH, taupht that no one could he saved who ilid not lielieve himself to he a mem tier of 
Christ, iiis dlscljiles added that llie law of Christ, with its .'^acniineiits. etc., had cea.sed. 
and that with themselves commenced the relpn of tlie Holy (ihosi ; (;,»i was srood, but they 
•ttld DuthiuK of His justice: ull kinds of crime were consistei»t « lili charity. 


^iven to all the bishops and priests who would accompaDj 
the troops to persevere iu prayer and in preaching, to insist 
upon penance for all sin, to practise and inculcate modest}^ 
in dress, frugality, and abstemiousness. " In order that 
nothing may be neglected," said the Pontiff, " in this work of 
Jesus Christ, we command all the patriarchs, archbishops, 
bishops, abbots, and pastors of souls, to preach seriously 
the word of the Cross to those who are confided to their 
-care, and to conjure, in the name of the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghost, the one and only true and eternal God, all the 
kings, dukes, princes, marquises, counts, barons, and other 
nobles, the citizens of all cities, towns, and villages, that 
those who themselves cannot depart will equip a proper 
number of warriors, and furnish them with necessaries for 
three years ; and all 'this for the remission of their sins. 
All who will donate ships, or construct them, for this object, 
will share in the pardon. If there is any one so ungrateful 
to the Lord our God, as to refuse all contribution, announce 
to him, in the apostolic name, that one day he will render 
an account before the tribunal of the severe Judge .... In 
all the churches, the faithful will pray the Lord of armies 
to grant prosperity to the Crusaders, and success to their 
great task." And that it might not be said that the Pope 
himself did nothing, Innocent pledged himself to restrict 
his expenses to the smallest amount, to give at once 30,000 
livres, and a ship for the Roman contingent. All clergymen 
were obliged, for three years, to give to the cause a twenti- 
eth of their revenues ; the cardinals to contribute one tenth. 
Proper provision was made for the families and properties 
of all Crusaders, and all interest on money loaned to them 
was forbidden. 

The affairs of the empire also occupied the attention of 
the Council. Misfortune had made Otho more docile, and 
he had already tried to be reconciled with the Church. 
The Milanese sent a deputy to the Council to plead his 
cause, while the marquis of Monferrato spoke for Frederick. 
The marquis declared that no regard should be extended to 
Otho, who had violated his oath of fidelity to the Roman 
See, and had not given up the states stolen from it ; at that 


very moment, he was upholding an excommunicated bishop^ 
and was keeping another prelate in prison ; he had styled 
Frederick, " the priests' king," had destroyed a convent, 
and converted anotlier into a fortress. The factions broke 
into mutual insults ; therefore Innocent rose from the 
throne, and left the basilica. Tlien the Council confirmed 
the election of Frederick as king of Germany. 

The mind of the Council was also directed to the late 
events in England. Deputies were present to plead the- 
cause of John's revolted barons, but they were told that, 
being excommunicated, they could not be heard. (Ij. Louis, 
son of Philip I., to whom the barons had offered the English 
crown, and who was preparing to seize it, was excommuni- 
cated. The fathers also considered the case of Raymoiid 
of Toulouse. Accompanied b}' the counts of Foix and Com- 
minges, count Raymond and his son appeared before the 
Pontiff, and threw themselves on their knees. Innocent 
kindly bade them arise, and then they formulated their 
complaints against Simon de Montfort, who, despite their 
submission to the Papal legates, had despoiled them of 
their dominions. These complaints, re-echoed by Foix and 
Comminges, showed Innocent that his legates in Provence 
had deceived him. A few prelates spoke warmly in favor 
of the counts, but Foulques of Toulouse denounced them, 
especially the count of Foix, with greater warmth. After 
many recriminations, the disputants were checked by the 
Pope, who said that, as the four counts had promised lasting 
obedience to the Church, it would be unjust to deprive- 
theui of their principalities. The French prelates did not 
welcome this remark, but a chanter of tlie cathedral of Lvons 

O) Some time before the meeting of the Twelfth Council, Pope Innocent had condemned 
the action of the Eiijirlish barons in revolting against a vassal of the Holy See. They 
ought, he said, not to have made thcmst'lves judKes in the matter al issue. Enffland l.uii 
become a ticf of the Holy See. and, even thoiijrh Hh- kinfr had ihe will, he could not give 
away the ri<rliis of his crown without the consent of the suzerain. Innocetit therefore con- 
cluded that he oufrht to annid the concessions inaile by .lotiii, as havintr been obtained in 
contempt of the Holy See, and to the iiii|(ediment of the great design of Ihe time, the 
Crusade. \Vrilii:g to the barons, the Pope stated his reasons, and e.\ti<irted them to lay 
their chiims befoie the Couneil about to meet at Home, pronnsing that he would look to the 
abolition of all grievances, and that the clergy and people would lie I'oiiilniied in their 
ancient liberties. Hut the barons persisted, and they were strengthened by the active 
sympathy of iirchbishoii Langton. The Pontiff ordered this prelate to excoinmuiiieaie the- 
refractory nobles, and on his refusal to do so, he wa.s suspended. Laiigton attended the- 
Tvveirih Coitncil. bnt he could not obtain from the PoiitllT the restoration of h's epi'scopnV 
faeulties. and only escaped deposition by promising not to return to Kngland until the 
tronb'es we;;" Lcttl'rd. M ATTiiKw of Piiris ; ALBERit'ls; Anonymous Contliiuator of RoOKR 
of Iloveden. 


arose .and said : " Yes, Holy Father, count Eaymond has 
unhesitatingly given up his fortresses to your legate ; he 
has been one of the first to take the Cross ; since the siege 
of Carcassonne, he has fought for the Church against his 
own nephew, the count of Beziers. If you do not give him 
his domains, it will be a shame for you and the Church. 
As foT you, bishop of Toulouse, you love neither your prince 
nor your people. You have kindled a fire in Toulouse 
which no one can extinguish. By your fault, ten thousand 
men have been killed : shall more perish ? You do not con- 
sider the Apostolic See. Is it right. Holy Father, that so 
many persons should be sacrificed to one man's hatred? " 
The Pontiff then protested that he himself had never com- 
manded the spoliation of Kaymond. The bishop of Agde 
arose and defended Simon, who, he said, had spent himself, 
day and night, for so long a time, in the service of the 
Church. Innocent then declared that " he was forced to 
admit that he had received several complaints against Simon 
and the legates. But, even though the count of Toulouse 
were culpable, the son ouglit not therefore to be punished. 
Many of the French bishops then threatened that, if 
Montfort's conquests were taken from him, they would com- 
bine to restore them. But the friend of St. Dominick, the 
holy bishop of Osma, whom we have seen a bare-footed 
missionary among the Albigenses. took the part of the 
young Raymond. Innocent then said : " Rest easy regard- 
ing the young count ; if Montfort keeps his principality, I 
will give him another, providing he remains faithful to God 
and the Church." (1). 

The Canons of the Twelfth Council are seventy in num- 
ber. It has been asserted by some authors, following the 
footsteps of the apostate De Dominis of Spalato, and of 

(V After the dissolution of the Council, young Raymond remained forty days in Rome. 
When he went to bid farewell to Innocent, the Pontiff seated him beside himself, and tak- 
ing him by the hand, said : " My dear son, if you follow my counsels, you will not err. 
Love God above all else, and serve him faithfully. Never extend your hand to another's 
domains, but defend your own against all comers. That you may not be without princi- 
palities, I give you the Venaissin, Beaucaire, and Provence ; with these, you can live con- 
formably to your rank. If we have another Council, your complaints ngainst Montfort' will 
be heeded." The count replied, "Holy Father, be hot angry if I reiake mv states from 
the count of Montfort and others who hold them." The Pope answered : " Whatever you 
do, may (Jod give you grace to commence it well, and to tlnish it even better." liinocent 
then blessed him, and handed him the diplomas which guaranteed him the above provinces. 
— (lironirloi. 


John Barclay (1), that these Canons were not the work of 
the Council, but were issued bj Pope Innocent III., with- 
out the assent of the Fathers. Thus Mosheim sajs : " In 
this Council, without asking the opinion of any one, Inno- 
cent promulgated seventy laws, by which he increased the 
Pontifical power and the dignity of the priesthood, and 
introduced several new dogmas, or, as they are commonly 
called, articles of faith." (2). Barclay even tries to show, 
from certain expressions in the Conciliary decrees, tliat 
these sevent}' Canons were introduced after the dissolution 
of the assembly. The following arguments are used by 
Alexandre (3) in refutation of this assertion. All writers 
of an}' name, who have treated of these decrees, have spoken 
of them as the work of an Ecumenical Council ; this is 
especially true of the decrees on Transubstantiation, on the 
errors of Joachim, and on the Paschal Communion ( at all 
of which Mosheim aims, as " new articles of faith'"). In 
the Gregorian Collection of Decretals, these Canons are 
inserted as "bv Innocent III., in General Council" Clem- 
eut v., in diploma abrogating the decretal Clericis Laicos of 
Boniface VIII., ordered that all the decrees of the Lateran 
Council concerning customs-duties, tributes, etc., should be 
held inviolate ; this action regards the Canon 46 of our 
Council. (4). In the Defense of the Lihertj/ of the French 
Church, presented to king Louis XI by the Parisian Parlia- 
ment, article 33 speaks of the Canons 23 and 24 as edited 
■" by the Council of Lateran, convoked at Rome by Innocent 
III." Even the Centuriators of Magdeburg, who would 
let no occasion pass without attacking an argument for 
Transubstantiation and Sacramental Confession, cast no 
doubt upon the Conciliary authorship of these Canons (5). 
But Barclay objects certain expressions of the Council, 
such as that in chap. 15 : "It is known that it was forbid- 
den in the Lateran Council to, etc.," which cannot, he says, 

(II .lolin BaiTlay was tlic son of Williani, a Scotch Jurist, and professor of law at Anircrs. 
Amoii(f otlior works, William wroti' one on Thr I'mrcruf tliv I'tii>r, wtiicli .lolm afterwards 
(■(11 ted, in opposition to the tlfih honk of Mel larinine's treatise on Tin Unnum I'liutilJ . .lohn 
Harclav died In Rome, in ICi-'l. 

(••• Cnil. A'///., p. ii., c. -4. S •.;. 

(M) (Vi.r. XII[.. diss. 1 art. -i. 

(4) This de<Tee of I'lemeni V. Is lu Ckincntincii, B. 3, Ut. Immunity of Churclir.-', :'ap. 
"(.V Cent. XLll,c.O. 


Ijave been said by the Council itself. Again, says Barclay, 
these CaDons are not found in the old Collections , they 
were unknown until John Cochlee gave them to the world, 
in 1537. (1). But Barclay seems to have forgotten that the 
Fourth Lateran Council confirmed and re-issued many de- 
crees of the Third Lateran, held under Alexander III. 
Thus, the 11th, concerning schoolmasters in every cathedral 
church, refers to the 18th of the Third Lateran ; the 33d, 
on manner of Visitations, refers to the 4th of the same 
•Council; the 29th, on Kestitutions, refers to the previous 
Council's 13th ; the 61st, concerning Kegulars, refers to its 
9th Canon. Therefore the words cited by Barclay refer to 
the Third Lateran, and not to the Fourth. As for Barclay's 
remark about Cochlee, it does not follow, because this 
critic had the Canons in question inserted in the Collection, 
that they were not edited by the Fourtli Lateran, for they 
were found in the ancient MS. Codex, and in the Gregorian 
and Clementine Decretals. 

We shall now give the principal Canons of the Fourth 
Lateran Council, making such comments as may appear nec" 
essary. The i^/r.s^ and ,>S''^co?i(/ refer to the errors of Joachim 
and Amalricus. (2). The T'/z/rc/ decrees excommunication and 
t;emporal penalties against heretics ; also establishes penal- 
ties against such lords as do not purge their territories of 
heresy, excommunicating these lords, and decreeing that, 
after a year's obstinacy, the Pontiff shall free their vassals 
from the oath of allegiance. Those who condemn the tem- 
poral punishment of heretics in all circiimstances would 
^o well to read the opinions of St. Augustine on the matter. 
(3). The Fifth renews the ancient privileges of the patriar- 
chal sees, and decrees that " After the Roman Church, 
which, as mother and mistress of all the faitliful of Christ, 
has, by the Lord's disposition, the principality of ordinary 
power over all others, the church of Constantinople shall 
have the first place, that of Alexandria the second, that of 

(1) See the Epistle of Cochlee in the edition of the Councils, by the Fianciscan, Peter 
Crabbe; Cologne, l-i-?8. 

(•i) They are inserted in Decretal!*, B. I., cap. Firmiter, and cap. Damnamus, tit. De 
Summa Trinitate and Fide Catholica. 

(3) Against the Epistle of Farme)nun, B. i., c. 7 ; Aoauiat Gaudentius, B. i., c. 35 ; 
Epistle 93 (48) to Vincent ; EpiMle 1S6 (.nO) to Count Boniface. T)ie Third Canon is in^ 
verted in the Gregorian Collection, B. v., tit. Heieticis, cap- Excuinnncukaninti. 


Antiocb the third, that of Jerusalem the fourth." After 
the patriarchs have sworn obedience to the Pope, and Lave 
received the pallium from him, they may confer it upon their 
metropolitans. They may also have a cross borne before 
them, unless the Pontiff or his legates are present. They 
may receive appeals from their own provinces, " saving 
appeals to the Apostolic See." (1). The Eighth prescribes- 
the course of proceeding in an '• Inquisition." There must 
be accusation, denunciation, and inquiry. Before a person, 
can be denounced as a heretic, he must have been fraternally- 
admonished ; before an inquiry, there must be notoriety in 
his crime. The inquiry must be made in presence of the- 
accused unless he is contumacious; the charge and names 
of the witnesses must be communicated to him, and his ex- 
ceptions noted. (2). The Nintli orders that, when more 
than one rite (such as Latin and Greek, Greek and Sclavonic, 
Greek and Armenian, Armenian and Coptic) are co-existent 
in a diocese, as occurs to this day, there shall be only one 
diocesan, but he may appoint another bishop to act as his 
vicar in administering the affairs of his particular rite. (3). 
The Elevenih orders the observation of the Third Lateran. 
Canon regarding schoolmasters in every cathedral church, 
and adds that the same rule be extended to all churches 
where the revenue can afford it. (4). The Thirfeevfh pro- 
hibits the institution of new Religious Orders, and decrees 
that no monk shall belong to more than one monastery, or 
no abbot govern more than one. (5). The Ttvenficth orders 
that the Eucharist and Chrism be kept under lock and key ; 
if he whose duty this is, neglects it, he shall be suspended for 
three months. (G). The Tiveniy-Jirst reads as follows : '' AIL 
the faithful of both sexes, when they have reached the age 
of discretion, shall, at least once a year, confess their sins 
privately {solu.s) to their own priest, and shall perform the 
enjoined penance as well as they can (j)ro virilms) ; reverent- 

(1) Decretals, tit. Piirihfiiis. 

(2) ]I>i(l., B. v., cap. Qu<ilitii\ Mt. Accumtionihus. 

(3) //)!(/., cap. (Jiiiinidiii. til. OfTicin Jtiilirifi OnliiKirii. 

14) llii'l., <'u\i. (Juiii Xiiiniiillif:, til. M(u,iist)i.'<. It also decrees that In every metropoli- 
tan chiiich tlicrc he instituted u Tlienlotriaii, wliose duty it will lie to Instruct ihe clerpv In 
wliat pertains t" ilie care of sfiuls. He must receive a canon's revenue, but will not ne<'e8- 
winly lie a cainii'. 

{Ti) Ihid., cap. .Vc iiiiiiiii, tit. lid. Damibus. 

(6.1 //)((/., cap. Xdtuinmx. 


ly receiving, at least at the Paschal time, the Sacrament of 
the Eucharist, unless perchance, by advice of their own 
priest, it be deemed proper, for a reasonable cause, that 
they should abstain for a time from its reception ; other- 
wise, they shall be debarred from entrance to a church, 
while living, and shall not receive Christian burial, when 
dead." If a priest should violate the sacramental seal, he 
is to be deposed, and for life confined in a monastery of 
the strictest observance. (1). In reference to the above 
decrees, as well as to the decree on the Eucharist, given 
against the Albigenseg, Mosheim says (2) : " Although as 
yet there was mcire than one opinion about the manner of 
Christ's presence in the Holy Supper, and the manner of 
belief had been defined by no clear and evident law. Inno- 
cent pronounced as alone true that opinion which is now 
held by the Koman Church, and introduced the hitherto 
unknown word Transubstontiation. He then prescribed the 
belief that it was ordained by divine law that every one 
should confess and enumerate his sins to a priest, which 
doctrine had hitherto been, not the public belief of the 
Church, but only an opinion of certain doctors. Down to 
this time, although confession of sins was deemed nec- 
essary, each one had been free to confess them either to 
God alone, and in his own mind, or to a priest, with the 
tongue- Both of these dogmas, being now received as 
divine, according to the command of Innocent, gave rise to 
many institutions unknown to the sacred books and to the 
first Christian age, and which were more apt to encourage, 
than to obviate, superstition." It is the province of the 
dogmatic theologian to prove that both the Eucharistic 
doctrine and that of Sacramental auricular Confession are of 
divine institution but if the reader will refer to our chap- 
ters on " Canonical Penance," and on the " Eucharistic Faith 
in the Tenth Century," he will see how false is Mosheim s 
assertion that auricular confession and the doctrine of 
Transubstantiation were introduced by Pope Innocent III. 

il» J^i(/..cap. Onviis idriUKcne sfj-ns, tit. Pccnitentiis. The eocpntric Launoy, i" a tmoK 
fxplan-citd'rv of The I'idditiin'i nf the Cnincli iin tlie Canon -'(Ininix L'tiiusqiit: Sf.Mi.s" 
ronteiidfrl that.hv the words "to their own priest," the faithful were obliged to confess, 
for the Paschal Comiiur.iion. to their parish-priest. For a refutation of this opinion, see 
Alexandre's Diss, iv.. Cent. xiii. 

(■-') l^of. cit. 


The Fortij-Jirst Canon declares that no prescription is 
valid, in either ecclesiasacal or civil matters, in which 
good faith is wanting. (1). The Forty -seventh prohibits 
the launching of an excommunication without previous ad- 
monition. (2). The Fiftieth restricts the prohibited decrees 
of matrimony to the first of afiinity and the fourth of 
consanguinity, (3), but by the Fifty -second Canon, hear-say 
testimony cannot be received as evidence of the existence of 
these impediments. The Fifty-first prohibits clandestine 
marriage, and declares its fruit illegitimate. The pastor who 
does not forbid any nuptials within the prohibited degrees 
is suspended from his office for three years. The Sixty- 
second forbids the veneration of any relics of saints, unless 
they have been approved by the Koman Pontiff. (4). The 
Sixty-third prohibits a bishop from receiving any money for 
a consecration, ordination, or benediction. (5). 


The Cause of Frederick II. and the Thirteenth General 


Pope Innocent III. having died at Perugia, on July 16th, 
(or 17th), 1'216, the cardinals, on the following day, raised 
to the Papacy the cardinal Cenci, Camerlingo of the Roman 
Church, and priest of the title of SS John and Paul. 
Nothing was nearer the heart of Honorius III. than the 
conquest of the Holy Land, and he was deeply pained when 
the delay of Frederick II. to join the Crusaders, as he had 
promised Innocent to do, entailed the destruction of the 
Christian fleet and the capture of Damietta (1210) by the 
Saracens. Nevertheless, the Pontiff crowned Frederick as 
emperor, in 1220, and received his oath to depart with an 
army for Palestine. (6). Honorius, true to the traditions of 

(I) Dcartnln, cap. QwDiiam nmiie, tit. Pra'scriiitUmihus. 
(•,') Iliiil., cap. Sacto. t\t. Sciitttil in E.rv<twmii)iicatii>nix. 
(3) //)(■'/.. cap. Noil <iclnt, tit. Ih <\iii!<ainnii>nl(it( . 

(-1) //;!(/.. cap. ("uin F.r c(i. tit. Ih Ucliiiuiia. 
(5) 7/(uf.,cap. Sicnt. tit. Sinuniin. 

(II) AftiT lii> cdnmatioii. Frederick inadp inniiy wise laws for the Hbert.v of the t'hurcli. 
etc., wlilch are foiiinl in (ioldastiis' I iiii>irinl I 'hiist it iitiims, hm \h<>y were not loni? en- 
f')rccd. lie :.l<i) ;i:iiiiiiscd to restore tlie Icpicy of tlie countess Matiida to ;!ie Holy See. 



the Papacy not to allow Italy to be entirely absorbed by 
tiie empire, and for which principle his predecessor had so 
strenuously combated, exacted from Frederick, before his 
coronation, an oath to cede the two Sicilies to his son 
Henry, born of his union with Constance of Aragon ; he 
also required an acknowledgment that the new king would 
be solely and entirely a vassal to the Holy See. Frederick 
promised all that was required ; but he soon showed that 
he was more intent upon crushing the Italian Guelphs, who 
would not submit to his supreme will, than he was upon the 
conquest of Palestine. The Guelphs were now dominant 
in Northern Italy ; allied against the emperor were Milan, 
Brescia, Padua, Mantua, Vercelli, Alessandria, Vicenza, 
Treviso, Bologna, and the powerful marquis of Monfer- 
rato. Opposed to this league were the count of Savoy, and 
the Ghibelline cities of Pavia, Cremona, Genoa, Modena, 
Reggio, and Asti. The war might have gone on indefinitely, 
but as Frederick made it a pretext for delaying his depar- 
ture for the Crusade, Pope Honorius bent his energies to 
terminate it. A peace advantageous to both parties was 
concluded, but still Frederick delayed to embark for the 
Crusade. In the year 1227, Pope Honorius III. died, and 
was suceeded by the cardinal Ugolino dei Segni, bishop of 
Ostia, as Gregory IX. The new Pontiff found Frederick 
immersed in voluptuousness, but he continually tried to 
excite him to military and religious zeal. Now the emperor 
alleged in excuse his weak health, and then he could not 
undertake the necessary extensive preparations. He was 
also occupied, he said, with his honeymoon festivities, he 
having just been marrried to lolande, daughter of John of 
Brienne, titular king of Jerusalem. But at length he 
yielded, not so much, probably, because of the Pontiff's 
threat of excommunication, as because of a hope that he 
might obtain for himself a new kingdom by means of his 
wife's precarious rights. At Brindisi there awaited his 
arrival a large number of Crusaders from France, Italy, 
England, Germany, Denmark, and Sweden ; but before he 
was ready to start, a plague broke out in the army, and the 
Landgrave of Thuringia and the greater part of the Crusa- 


ders perished. Frederick's delay iu the midst of the sum- 
mer's heat was regarded as the cause of the calamity, and 
the Christian fleet had scarcely set sail, when the Pope 
launched an excommunication against him. Gregor}' IX. 
himself tells us the reasons for the sentence. First, Fred- 
erick had violated his oath to lead a certain number of 
troops to Palestine, and to contribute a sum of money to 
the Crusade ; second, he had deposed the archbishop of 
Tarento ; third, he had despoiled the Knights Templars ; 
fourth, he had broken his treaty with Raynald of Aversa ; 
fifth, he had robbed of his domains the Crusader, count 
Eoger, who was under the protection of the Holy See, and 
had kept the son of the count in prison, in spite of the 
Pontifical protests. (1). Every place where the emperor 
would reside, was interdicted. The Pontiff gave the king- 
dom of Sicily to Frederick's father-in-law, John of Brienne, 
and that prince, having heard a rumor that Frederick had 
died, promptly accepted. In the meantime, Frederick had 
arrived in Syria, where he heard of the Pontifical action. 
He immediately made peace with the Sultan of Damascus, 
and returned to Italy ; his army was too powerful for John 
of Brienne, and in a short time he recovered his Sicilian 
dominions. Gregory now issued another decree, freeing all 
of Frederick's subjects from their obligation of fidelity, 
whereupon the monarch made overtures of peace. Before 
the Papal legates he swore to obey the Pontifical mandates, 
and he was restored to communion. He now began to nourish 
vast projects ; his son Henry managed afi'airs in Germany, 
and he was free to give all his attention to Ital}'. Master 
of Sicily and of all the southern part of the peninsula ; in- 
fluential in, though only titular sovereign of Tuscany ; 
sustained by the Ghibelline cities, he would be sovereign 
of Italy, if he could crush the Guelph League of Lombardy. 
With this object he commenced, in 123G, a war upon the 
League, at the head of an army of Germans and Saracens (2), 
aided by troops from the Ghibelline cities, and even by 
Venice and Genoa, eager to take wliat aj^peared to be the 

(I) Epislli- Id IJii' UMkiiis iif Ai>iili(i. n. I., no. ISO. 

iJi His Siraci-ns ciiiiio fnun Nocer;!. a sctilt'iiit'tit he Uad given tliem in the PuKli«. This 
P'mI e w ..- aritiwuriis called .\t)if)(t ilr' /'(((/kz/i. 


safer side. In the year 1239 Pope Gregory again excom- 
municated Frederick and freed his subjects from their 
allegiance, " for so long a time as he persisted in his ex- 
communicated condition." The Pontiff also oflfered the 
empire to Robert, brother of St. Louis of France, but the 
French barons objected to his accepting it. To revenge 
himself, Frederick commenced a violent persecution of the 
clergy on both sides of the Alps ; despoiling the seculars, 
expelling religious from their monasteries, and imposing 
heavy tributes on all the churches. He also excited rebel- 
lion in Rome. In 1241, Gregory IX. died, and was suc- 
ceeded by the cardinal Godfrey Castiglione, as Celestine IX ; 
but in seventeen days he also died, and the cardinal Sini- 
baldo Fieschi, of the title of St. Laurence in Luciua, 
mounted the throne as Innocent IV. Frederick imme- 
diately sent an embassy to the new Pontiff, signifying his 
desire for reconciliation. The Pontiff sent legates to the 
emperor, offering to convoke a Council, as Frederick had 
often desired it, and saying that "if the Church has in any 
way, outside of her duty, injured the emperor, she is ready 
to make reparation .... and to revoke her sentence, and to 
receive from him, with as much kindness and gentleness as 
the honor of God and of the Church will permit, satisfac- 
tion for the injuries she and her own have received. (1). On 
the feast of Holy Thursday, 1244. Frederick sent three 
embassadors to Innocent, to draw up final conditions of 
peace. According to Matthew of Paris, the following 
conditions were accepted. 1st, Frederick would restore all 
territories taken from the Holy See and its allies. 2d, He 
would write to all Christian princes, saying that he had not 
spurned the authority of the Church or the sentence of 
Gregory IX., but as the latter had not been formally an- 
nounced to him, he had been advised by his prelates and 
princes to ignore it ; however, he recognized the full spirit- 
ual power of the Pontiff over all princes, clerics, and lay- 
men. 3d, He would do penance, by fasting, alms-giving 
•etc., for his crimes, and, until his absolution, would respect 
the decree of excommunication, 4th, He would free all 

(1) EpiMe 84, B. i. 


imprisoned bishops, and would obey the mandates of the 
Pope, saving the rights of the emj^ire. 5th, He would 
revoke all edicts against the allies of the H0I3' See, would 
restore all prisoners, and would recall all exiles. How- 
ever, Frederick soon repented of his acceptance of these 
conditions, and openly refused to observe them. Pope 
Innocent, deeming himself insecure in Pome, where the 
gold of the emperor excited frequent seditions, secretly 
withdrew from the city, and embarking in a Genoese squad- 
ron, proceeded to France. Here he immediately signified 
his intention of holding a General Council, to consider the 
state of the Holy Land and of the empire. The customary 
letters were despatched, the Council being ordered to meet 
on the Monday following, feast of St. John the Baptist,, 
1245, in the city of Lyons. 

The Thirteenth General Council (First of Lyons) met in 
the monastery of St. Just, under the presidency of Pope 
Innocent IV. Besides the cardinals, there were present the 
patriarchs of Constantinople, Antioch, and Aquileia, and 
140 bishops. In attendance were also the emperor Baldwin 
of Constantinople, the count of Toulouse, Thaddeus de 
Suessa (procurator of Frederick) and the orators of the 
king of France, St. Louis, of king Henry III. of England, 
and other Cliristian princes. In an eloquent sermon on the 
text: "O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if 
there be any sorrow like to my sorrow!" {Lam. i., 12.), 
Innocent laid open the objects of the Council, comparing 
the five troubles of the Church with the five wounds of our 
Lord. The Fathers were to consider, I. the aggressions of 
the Mohammedans in Christian lands. II. The Greek 
Schism. III. The prevailing heresies. IV. The rumored 
capture of Jerusalem by the Saracens. V. The crimes of 
Frederick II. When tlie business of the Council commenced, 
the imperial procurator, Thaddeus de Suessa, an eloquent 
lawyer, arose and vehemenily perorated his master's cause. 
If Frederick were absolved, he said, he would at once com- 
pel the schismatics of the East to obey the Pontiff; h& 
would attack the Saracens, Tartars, etc., with an army 
equipped at his own expense ; he would restore to the- 


Koman Church all its lost territories, and would indemnify 
it for all the expense to which he had put it. The Pontiff 
remembered the value of Frederick's promises and answered 
that there was but one way for that prince to be reconciled 
to the Church, namely, to fulfil his already sworn agree- 
ments. Thaddeus thon offered the kings of France and 
E.jgland as security for his master, but in vain. In the 
next session, the Pontiff recapitulated the crimes of Fred- 
erick. Besides those of heresy and sacrilege, he had given 
territories in a Christian land to Mohammedan colonists 
(1) ; he had made treaties of friendship with the sultan of 
Babylon and other Mohammedan princes ; he had held 
impure relations with Saracen women ; he had been guilty 
of perjury ; he had imprisoned bishops. Among other 
excuses which Thaddeus made for Frederick, he said that 
Saracens had been introduced into the Sicilies to punish 
rebellion ; the emperor liad held no carnal intercourse 
with Saracen women, but had simply enjoyed their play, 
dances, etc.; at any rate, Frederick ought not to be con- 
demned of heresy, before he made his profession of faith, 
and the orator demanded a delay of proceeding, that he 
might communicate with his master. A delay of twO' 
weeks was then granted, but when the Council again met, 
Frederick refused to appear, and Thaddeus, in his name,, 
appealed from the present "to a more general Council." In 
answer to this appeal, Innocent replied, "it is your lord's 
fault that more bishops are not here ; hence it is not right 
to defer sentence, for no one should profit by his own 
fraud." In the next Session, having recited the crimes of 
Frederick, the Pontiff issued the following sentence : We 
forever absolve from their oath all who are bound by an 
oath of allegiance to him ; prohibiting, by our Apostolic 
authority, all from obeying him or regarding him as em- 
peror ; and decreeing that all incur excommunication, by 
the very fact, who shall hereafter extend to him, as emperor 
or as king, any counsel, aid, or favor. Let those to whom 
the election of an emperor belongs, proceed freely to elect 
one. As to the kingdom of Sicily, we will take care to 

(1) The Saracens of tlic PugUa. 


provide for it as, with the counsel of our brethren, may 
seem proper." 

In commenting upon this sentence of deposition, Alex- 
andre admits that Pope Innocent "justly deprived Frederick 
of the kingdom of Sicily, because he held it as a fief of the 
Koman Church, and especially because he abused his power 
to the detriment of tliat Church, and did not pay the ac- 
customed tribute. But the case of the empire was different, 
for the empire was not subject to the Koman Church," and 
such is the opinion expressed by all imperialist and Galilean 
writers. In our chapter on the " Deposing Power of the 
Roman Pontiff,' we have seen that the public law of the 
time subjected the emperor as well as other sovereigns to 
the judgment of the Pontiff, in all pertaining to his tenure 
of power, when religion suffered ; but here we would 
remark that, if Pope Innocent IV. exceeded his duty and 
his rights in the matter of Frederick II., it is strange that 
his action received the approbation of a General Council. 
If, as Alexandre and other writers hold, the deposing power 
of the Pope is opposed by both Scripture and Tradition, 
how comes it that the assembled wisdom and sanctity of 
Europe, in the presence, too, of the representatives of the 
principal sovereigns, did not check the usurpation ? But, 
reply the courtier-theologians, the sentence of deposition 
was issued, not by the Council, but by Innocent ; not " the 
Sacred Council approving," but " the Sacred Council being 
present." This answer does not relieve the Council of the 
burden of responsibility which imperialists would place 
upon it ; by its acquiescence, the Council shouldered that 
burden. We pass by the remark of Roncaglia (1) that '* a 
change was made in the above title by a fault of the tran- 
scribers, as often happened," for even tliough tliat phrase 
should remain, there is abundant proof that tbe Council 
approved of the deposition of Frederick II. The Francis- 
can Niclu)las de Curbio, confessor to Innocent IV.. and an 
eye-witness of what he narrates, says (2) : " This sentence 
was approved by all the prelates present in the same Coun- 
cil, as is made evident to present and future times by 

C" Note. ^ IV., to Alexandre's Diss, i. In Cent. XI. 
(£) ...jC of I; no'iiit IV.. <•. 14. 


their signatures and seals appended." Matthew of Paris 
says- "Therefore, the lord Pope and the attending bishops, 
with lighted candles, fulminated terribly against the said 
emperor Frederick, who is now no longer to be called 
emperor . When master Thaddeus heard of these things, 
he drew deep sighs, and said : ' I well know there is no 
help for it,' and weeping and groaning, he added: 'Truly, 
this is a day of wrath, as he had before said when, m lull 
Council, the bishops lowered and extinguished the lighted 
candles, deposing the excommunicated emperor Frederick." 
(1). And the approbation of the Council is plainly indicat- 
ed by these words of the sentence of deposition : "' Having 
first 'carefully deliberated with our brethren, and with the 
Sacred Council, upon the aforesaid and many other detest- 
able crimes, we show and denounce the said prince as 
deprived by the Lord of all honor and dignity, and by our 
sentence we do deprive him." 

After the deposition of Frederick, the Council issued 
several Constitutions looking to the aid of the Latm em- 
pire of Constantinople, and to the success of the Crusades 
It also received ambassadors from King Henry 111. ot 
England, complaining of extortions on the part of Martin, 
ihe Papal legate, and of other abuses. The Pontiff took 
the papers, and reserved his decision. After the dissolu- 
tion of the Council, Pope Innocent influenced some of the 
imperial electors to proceed to an election, and Henry, 
landgrave of Thuringia, was chosen emperor. With the 
funds of the Church the Pope enabled Henry to equip his 
followers, and they all took the Cross as against a heretic. 
All the territories which obeyed Frederick were laid under 
an interdict, and legates were sent into Germany to compel, 
by Apostolic censures, the recognition of Henry. ilie 
opposing armies met, finally, near Frankfort and the forces 
of Frederick, commanded by his son Conrad, were routed 
But Henry died soon after, in 1247. William, count of 
Holland, was now elected, and the following year he cap- 

(1) Matthew of Paris was an inten- and Mnded c^-urtier whose zeal foj^the^c^^^ 
him often show the utmost virulence towartsthejontms u a^^ ^^ .^^ opposition. To 
^^'.tZZ''nL!^^l^fyli^o'^^^^^^^ ^^, Henry Knyghton.and 

ikie Mouk of Padua, in their Chronicles. 


tared Aix-la-Chapelle, and was there crowned bj Innocent 
lY. In the meantime, Frederick was making preparations 
for an inroad into France, for the purpose of capturing 
Innocent, when disastrous news from Italy caused him to 
proceed at once to that country. For years the struggle 
between the imperialists and the Guelphs had been pro- 
gressing with alternate fortune. Of all the Ghibelline 
cities, Parma had been for some time the most influential, 
but it happened that, in a moment of frenzy, the imperial- 
ists expelled all the Guelphs from the cit3^ The exiles 
kept up communications with certain partisans within the 
walls, and one day they suddenly appeared in force. The 
imperial vicar, Testa of Arezzo, marched out to give them 
battle, but w'as defeated and killed. The conquerors oc- 
cupied the city ; in their turn, they expelled all the 
Ghibellines, and taking the citadel by storm, put the 
German garrison to the sword. The furious Frederick soon- 
arrived, swearing that he would treat Parma as the Pied- 
beard had treated Milan In the immense army with which 
he surrounded the city were a large number of his 
favorite Saracens. This circumstance added to the deter- 
mination of the Parmegiani, who believed that he had 
become a Mohammedan. The siege endured for two years, 
with constant assaults and sorties. Confident that famine, 
if not military success, would eventually enable him to- 
sweep Parma from the face of the earth, Frederick had 
already commenced the erection of a new city, to be called 
Vittoria, which was to take its place, and shelter his par- 
tisans ; the vast citadel was already finished, and famine 
was commencing its work in Parma, when one morning at 
daybreak the garrison made a sortie, assaulted and de- 
stroyed the citadel, and put the imperial army to flight. 
With difficulty Frederick reached Cremona, having left all 
his provisions of war and his military chest on the field. 
The Guelphs now everywhere arising, Frederick betook him- 
self with the wreck of his army into the Puglia. He soon 
sent legates to Pope Innocent, begging for absolution, and 
promising to obey the Holy See in everything ; especially, 
to depart at once for Palestine, with all the forces he could 


Taise, in company with St. Louis, then preijaring to march. 

But experience caused the Pontiff to wait, and in 1250 

•death laid his hand on Frederick, at Firenzola, in tlie l!*uglia. 

According to Ptolemy of Lucca, Martin the Pole, Villani, 

St. Antonine, and Cuspinian, he was assassinated by his 

illegitimate sou, Manfred, while on a bed of sickness. That 

he died impenitent, is asserted by his contemporaries, the 

Monk of Padua, Martin the Pole, and Eecordano Malas- 

pina, as also by the later authors, St. Antonine and Villani. 

However, William of Pay Laurens, Albert Stadensis, and 

JMatthew of Paris, contemporaries, say he repented, and 

-was absolved by the archbishop of Palermo. 


The Fourteenth General Council : Second of Lyons. 

After the death of Pope Clement IV., in 1268, the Holy 
•See remained vacant, owing to the private ambitions and 
political discords of the cardinals, until the fall of 1271, 
when Tabaldo Visconti of Piacenza was elected as Gregory 
X. Tabaldo had been known as a man of extraordinary 
prudence and probity, although not very learned. He was 
not a member of the Sacred College, nor was he even a 
bishop. When elected to the Papal throne, he was arch- 
deacon of Liege, and was with the Crusaders in Syria. 
He arrived in Ptome in April, 1272, and was immediately 
consecrated and crowned. Pope Gregory X. found the 
empire vacant. After the death of William of Holland, the 
archbishops of Cologne and Mentz and the Palatine had 
chosen, in 1256, Richard, brother of Henry III. of England, 
as emperor ; while the remaining electors, the archbishop 
of Treves, the duke of Saxony, the margrave of Branden- 
burg, and the king of Bohemia, had elected Alphonse, king 
of Castile. Richard had been crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
on December 28th, in the presence of most of the princes 
•of the f^mpire (1), but his power was never more than nom- 

(1) Rymxr, I., 622. AnnaU BuH., .376. Ancient Laws, 26. 


iual, and lie spent most of Lis time iu Englaiul, where he 
died in March, 1272. Alphonse had vainly besought the 
Popes Alexander IV., Urban IV., and Clement IV , for 
recognition, and immediately after his own elevation to 
the Papacy, Gregory X. compelled liira, by a threat of ex- 
communication, t